Thursday, November 14, 2019

Local Playwright Arrested on Opening Night


The Desert Trail (AP Wire Services) - Chambless, CA, Thursday 14, 2019

Local area playwright Cefin Tarsus was arrested by San Bernardino Sheriff's Thursday evening on opening night of his play "Over Herd: The Bartender's Trap " The play was being staged at the Salt Cedar Saloon where Tarsus is a bartender and event planner. Deputies declined to enumerate the charges but indicated they involved multiple violations of privacy, unauthorized used of personal data and aggravated identity theft.

Bar regular Red Farnham witnessed the arrest as startled actors, patrons and employees hastily retreated to the bar as the deputies left with Tarsus. "He'd been working really hard on this piece. Ever since those Marines from the base gave him the idea, it's been his sole outside project. The guy works his fingers to the bone at the bar and gets up early to pound out his plays."

Asked about the Marines, Farnham added "these two jarheads work on swarm robotics and lent Cefin some machine learning software he needed for speech analytics. Cefin has been processing huge data sets of audio, parsing linguistic blocks, tuning models, filtering and training data for deep learning."

Recently retired as a registered ethicist for San Bernardino County, Farnham enjoys afternoons at the saloon where discussions between local and base personnel frequently diverge into advanced subjects like neurotechnologies, artificial intelligence and the 'Farnham Equation,' his own updating of the famous Drake Equation about the possible density of intelligent life in the universe.

One saloon regular who requested his name not be used said Cefin would scribble in notebooks and scratch pads throughout his bartender shifts but had abandoned the practice shortly after installing a series of small ceiling devices he claimed were remote controlled air fresheners. "He seemed to lose interest in some conversations but would suddenly interject unusual and provocative subjects and personal stories that we'd never heard before."

While Sheriff's Deputies had declined discussing charges, saloon owner Larry Sable who arrived after the arrest volunteered his thoughts. "Cefin is a smart guy but works too much. Too much on his own stuff that is! Once he got all digital and mixed up with smart ass Marines he'd come in for his shifts all bleary eyed and distant."

"Started telling me how he could peer into things, know ahead of time what's going to be said. Started finishing people's sentences for them. Not great for business! Might work for a Tarsus play but obviously not tonight!"

The Salt Cedar Saloon was briefly shuttered for a few days last Spring when it was learned that the recently installed Pabst Blue Ribbon beer sign contained facial recognition software that collected data over an unencrypted wireless link. Owners promptly apologized and the beer distributor claimed no knowledge about the device, it's purpose or the fate of the visual data collected.
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NOTES: Transataumancy is divination by interpreting something seen or heard accidentally or unexpectedly, such as snatches of speech and conversations while walking through a crowd.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year 2011


We've already launched but it's nice to look back at the preparations.

Lots of catch up on when the time is right. Been on a Ernest J√ľnger jag for much of the year, sort of a literary complement to my obsession with bergfilme

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day lunch


Santa Ana winds are back with bitter chill and everyone is sneezing and bundling up. Still recovering from the daylight-to-standard "fall back" and now Veterans Day has thrown off my weekday rhythm with school and government offices closed.

Hustling to get out of the house and off to the office I managed to water some of the more vulnerable plants and containers. Then it was back to the kitchen to assemble a quick lunch - toasted Teff focaccia with smoked Hungarian bacon, Harvard cheese, and red lettuce. How beautiful!

And starting work tonight on the curing the ~4 lbs of olives I bought last weekend at Super King market! Will posted a step-by-step once it's underway.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Shipkas Olive Tapenade


Back home from taking Grandma to her first West Hollywood Halloween carnival. She's been eager to attend one since seeing a slide show of grandson Elliott's success as Lady Gaga in 2009. Quite the trouper for someone in her mid-seventies - she hiked down from the parking lot on Sunset and almost the entire length of the event - and of course back up again.

And so October is now minutes away from exiting the stage. For all the experience of acceleration this year has entailed, this Fall has packed a lot in. For starters we rediscovered (recovered) a couple of seasons - just days apart - from blazing recording-breaking heat a few weeks back (the official weather service thermometer in downtown went offline or "broke" upon reaching 113F) to a 5-day patch of monsoonal soaks. And that's leaving out the gorgeous "segues" between these weather events - stunning skies that capture your attention when you least expect it.

Halloween is the bow on this package and I finally got around to making more black olive and Shipkas pepper tapenade. I finished a cache of a green olive version (a not unsuccessful experiment, but no rival to the original) a week or so ago and have made my lunches with German mustard and Avjar.

While pitting the semi-cured black olives I decided to "go large" and doubled the recipe. The orange and black was just so damn Halloween!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brining, Curing and Smoking


The results of my third weekend in a row of brining and curing pork and turkey. Sunday's batch included a turkey breast (with bone) and drumsticks brined for 48 hours, and pork tenderloin with a dry rub for 56 hours, smoked for almost 2 hours at 230-300F. This was a little hotter than planned but they still came out juicy and tender. Previous Sundays saw brined pork tenderloin and turkey breast brined for 24 hours.

This weekend is "smoke free" as I need to do some more thinking about what meats to tackle next. I also need to order some "pink salt" aka "InstaCure" aka "Prague Powder" which contains sodium nitrite (6.25%) and is essential to many recipes involving curing and canning.

Teresa has been baking sourdough almost daily and is already maintaining 3 starters. The acknowledged favorite so far has been the buckwheat with it's wonderful grayish color. As with other living foods, experiments are essential and it being Fall pumpkin was an inevitable choice. Quite good! I've toasted and enjoyed slices of it with chunks of blue cheese as a rustic late afternoon snack.


Pumpkin sourdough bread - how can you tell?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Inaugural Salsa Verde - Happy Equinox!


Our recent Grassy Knolls harvest of Green Zebra tomatoes and Bulgarian carrot peppers (Shipkas) cried out for a fresh green salsa so it was a quick web search for salsa recipes resulting in the following lash-up. Oh, and buying a delightful salsa verde from Cam, the Eastside Tomato King last Saturday at the Silver Lake farmers market...

Green Zebra Salsa Verde
  • 2 Shipkas peppers (seeds and all)
  • 6-7 Green Zebra tomatoes
  • 2 smallish heirlooms tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of red onion
  • 7 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • salt & pepper to taste
The salsa is now in field trials with Enrique and results are expected soon.

The character of Shipkas peppers is fairly complex, hot but with a surprising twist at the end that's hard to describe. This is my third use of them and I'm sizing up my cache so I can have a few more recipes before they disappear for the season (and I'm moving the plant to a more sustainable pot and drying out some seeds for next year).


FOLLOW-UP: 2 days later I added more Green Zebras (this time seeded) and heated the salsa to reduce it a bit. Now in field testing at work, the salsa verde is greener, thicker, and less hot but still good and spicy.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dog Days of Late Summer


Celebrating the end of the first week of high school and the fast approaching beginning of fall, end of summer, we ate a lazy Saturday afternoon lunch of Nathan's frankfurters topped with chopped onion, one of our freshly harvested heirloom tomatoes, Teresa's homemade pickle relish, and neighbor "Cam the Tomato King's" green tomato salsa.

Wow - these were great hot dogs!