Many of my blog images are vector traces of photos accomplished in Coreldraw and then exported as jpg, gif or png to illustrate my blog. This is something that I have learned to do over many years use of Coreldraw. It’s quite simple to do and I find the results to be more pleasing than the original photo.
There are technical advantages to creating a vector image from your original bitmap image:
Much smaller size – the original of the stained glass image on the right was 1.36 meg for a 884 X 2386 pixel image. This trace represents that same image in png format using only 220k – about 1/6 the size. Many of the traces that I use on this blog are only 10 or 20k in size.
When printing with the image stored in a vector format (.cdr, .ai, svg) the image is infinitely resizable with no loss of quality.
After creating my vector image in Coreldraw I use the “Export for Web” command to turn it back into a bitmap. I saw that the size of the image of me, to the right, was much larger than necessary so I reduced it to 242 pixels wide. The result is perfect for my blog and the jpg is a mere 5k in size.
If your data plan is skimpy like mine, you can still look at this blog as the photos, when vector-processed won’t break anyone’s data plan.
You might say it is my up-and-coming, new favourite breakfast, not because I’ve never had it before, but because quite possibly I’ve never made it myself before.
The impetus for the eggy-bread this morning was a fridge that was ripe with some traditional french-toast accompanying fruit that was already cut up and prepared (peaches) or just generally on standby (huge blackberries) or half-gone-bad (strawberries). Then there were 2 & 2/3 slices of bread from a Greek bakery that I had taken to work one day (but didn’t eat lunch that day) and then taken it to Ontario, but again, ignored it. It was good bread – it just needed a new get-up. French toast would be that vehicule.
I checked one cookbook for a recipe and then I just Googled it and chose the simplest recipe – though I only read one. Besides the bread (white is best, in my experience) all you need for the most basic French toast is 1 egg and 1/4 cup of milk per each person. (example 2 people – 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk – lest there be confusion due to the conjunctivity). Then the author of the recipe I was using suggested nutmeg and cinnamon could be added. I grated a very small part of a nutmeg and sprinkled a very modest amount of cinnamon into my solution. You need some grease in the frying pan. The fridge wasn’t swimming in butter so I chose sunflower oil.
I won’t give the rest of the instructions – I think you can figure it out.
This isn’t a breakfast that needs sausage or bacon, but I had some previously-barbecued old-fashioned maple-smoked sausage taking up fridge space. I cut it in thirds longitudinally and laid it in the still hot frying pan to warm. I didn’t want anything too smoky with my peaches, strawberries and blackberries. the maple-smoked that Dettweiler’s make is milder and fit the bill perfectly.
If I had posted a picture of the finished plate of french toast, fruit and sausage (with several pours of maple syrup on top) it wouldn’t have pleased anyone but a hungry truckdriver. Let me just say that I put 2100 km on my Sierra pickup in the last 4 days and this truckdriver was just too hungry to take a picture.
I think Spotify has won me over. Seems like a lot of value for $9.99 per month. Matthew Dixon mentioned Spotify to me and Carol at Jireh this summer, but I thought,
“I have tons of music already. Why more?
I listen to a lot of independent music – by that I mean artists who own their own music. They don’t have a contract with a label. They own their own label and they put their music in the electronic music distribution system through CD Baby or another distributor like that. I’ve been an eMusic user because it is considerably cheaper than buying tracks on iTunes – but everything is not there. The music that is winning this year’s Grammy Awards is not there, at least not the music that’s winning the most popular categories. That’s OK, because that’s not my taste anyways.
I listen to lots of jazz and lots of gospel and I can find that on eMusic. It’s been a great website for discovering new artists. Example – I knew about Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato long before they were mainstream – because of eMusic. When Gretchen sings on Lionel Loueke’s album you discover a new artist (new to you) in one direction or another because everything is linked – you can find every track on eMusic that Gretchen Parlato sings on.
Back to Spotify (last two paragraphs has been on eMusic). Spotify is a streaming music service, and I thought, “I’m not always online. I can’t afford to use a cellular data plan to stream music when I’m in my car”. But apparently, you can download tracks to your computer or iPhone, iPad and then plug it into your car stereo and take Spotify music with you that way.
So, this is my last month of $11.99 US eMusic, which at 49 cents per track buys me 24 tracks, Spotify Premium costs $9.99 per month and it gives you unlimited streaming and I don’t know how many tracks, but probably all you need. I’m guessing that the tracks you download with Spotify are in the format that the Spotify app uses. This prevents piracy where I take my favourite tracks and make mix CDs for all my friends. (not that I ever did that with eMusic)
This FAQ explains the Spotify model in terms of how artists get paid for their music quite well: http://www.spotifyartists.com/spotify-explained/
This is most often my BIG breakfast day. Number 4 in 17 favourite breakfasts celebrates the very traditional bacon and eggs (no photo required). Since I had some VERY fat bacon I decided to fry up some potatoes avec. But if you want to take this traditional breakfast and do it up Dr. Seuss style, “I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam-I-Am”, then Applewood Hollow in Niagara-on-the-Lake is the place to actually try green eggs and ham (or maybe Dettweiler’s Sausage). “I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere”. Put it to the test – Jane (née I-Am) Andres your host at Applewood Hollow has her own chickens and there is at least one of them that lays green eggs. which Jane serves up for your breakfast. Such a great place to stay – and since one wing of the house was conceived specifically to be a b’nb, you’ll enjoy sleeping in a loft bedroom above a living room with gas fireplace. Privacy, yes, and green eggs and ham for breakfast!
17 favourite breakfasts: #3 is a bran muffin, with a coffee, of course. Attentive eyes will notice at least two details in the photo. 1) The muffins look exactly like the type that Ted makes. They are. 2) The coffee mug says “bonheur” and it was nicely provided at the Prevost station on the Parc Linéaire Le P’tit Train du Nord. They also had muffins for sale and it almost broke my heart to say “non, merci” à la jeune fille qui ‘mindait le shoppe’ but I told her I had made my own muffins (last night).
Bonus note to all you single men: it is common knowledge that supermarkets are a great place to meet women. I would refine that to say that markets are even better. Earlier this week at the Atwater market, when I was pricing flats of strawberries it impressed the girl (from Hemmingford) greatly that the good looking cyclist before her made jam. I guess it says a lot…
Thinking back to when I was trying to get Carol’s attention, she will laugh and recount the time that we were at Paul’s place for Thanksgiving dinner and David and I were comparing notes on how to get the best apple pie crust for the apple pies that we both were making (very amateurishly). Since I got the girl I no longer make my own pie, but again, single men, if you are looking for a quality woman it might be exactly like shopping for apples or strawberries. Just make sure you’re the real goods first.
In the summer of 2014, I began my 17 favourite breakfasts postings on Facebook. I posted them 1-at-a-time as Facebook status updates. I think this series (still on-going as of August 18, 2014) was the main impetus for starting this “Ted’s ideas on Food and more” blog. I created material that is original and I think “yummy and nutritious” – why not post it on a blog so that it is easier to access with Permalinks and the like. This isn’t a list of breakfast recipes. Some of them describe an environment where a breakfast was just perfect-for-me. Others describe a regular routine that I’ve maintained most of my life – like sabbath-respecting favourite #5. Feel free to post your comments on any of these “17 favourite breakfasts postings” or better yet, start your own breakfast postings and I’ll post the link to your show.
Some of the initial 17 favourite series are short (like Status updates ; ) ) so I’m listing one and two here together in this one post:
ONE: My 17 favourite breakfasts list begins today with perhaps the simplest one: a crusty roll, the ones the Portuguese bakeries in my neighbourhood make, along with marmalade and a café allongé (make mine Nespresso). This breakfast inspired by a first “continental breakfast” experience when I was age 16 and my high school band traveled to West Germany and Austria.Since then I have come to appreciate both coffee and the simplicity of marmalade on a bun.
TWO: Second in the 17 favourite breakfast series: Ackee and saltfish. This is not one I’m going to fix up in my own kitchen. I miss my mother-in-law’s great breakfasts but if I am in Montego Bay, you can find me at the Pelican in the morning eating ackee and saltfish.
Your brain knows the key to “You are the Sunshine of my Life”.
Daniel Levitin, in “This is Your Brain on Music” has done studies and, apparently, our brains register the key when we hear a song on the radio (like in the old days) or on your iPod or whatever you listen to music on.
When you’re me and you attempt to sing a riff of that popular song as I did this morning to the one other person in my house, you or I would sing it in approximately the key that it is written in.
So I riffed it and Carol went to the piano and found I was in C. She said “I doubt it. Not many people write in C”. Googled it and Stevie does it in B. Only a semi-tone away – adjacent keys on the piano – no black key in between.
Tomorrow’s possible blog posts include: what to do with the rest of the cabbage; is Carl Orff really a musical genius (free MSO outdoor concert of Carmina Burana outside le Stade Olympique once Carol gets home); what’s wrong with LOL?; things my dad taught me about meat; or something completely different.