Thursday, August 19, 2010


When I greeted a coworker this morning, he snapped "I have to work on a spreadsheet today, so I'm not in the mood!"

Seeing as I'm a bookkeeper-type individual, I guess I am co-guilty for the existence of spreadsheets, which are a potent tool for torturing sensitive innocents who do not deserve such treatment.
Him, plus kittens and butterflies.
It's all my fault.

"I have to work on a spreadsheet today, so I'm not in the mood!"

MS excel is NOT a blessing, his life would be SO MUCH better without it. For one thing, he'd still use quills and oak-gall ink. The mediaeval work-environment brought joy to thousands, but we bookkeeper-types (and Microsoft) just had to go ruin it with our brisk efficiency and need for quantifiable data; we took all the romance out!

Damn your rectilinear thinking! Damn your verticals and horizontals!

I guess YOU just aren't capable of thinking IN-side the box, huh? It prevents you from maximizing your potential, developing your core skill sets, and expanding your horizons. Organized summationality is too non-intuitive, the rigidity of a framework destroys your cozy relationship with the feeliness of it all. Straightjacket!


Dude, I can remember when I first encountered excel - it was still a Macintosh-based program at that time. I thought it was head and shoulders above Lotus, both 1-2-3 and Symphony. And I had already energetically and enthusiastically mastered both of those. Excel, however, was the bee's knees, the cat's veritable miao.
Since that moment over twenty three years ago, there has scarcely been a day when I did not have an excel file open.
I even dream occasionally in excel.

I can hardly think without it.

No offense really intended, dude, but clearly neither can you.


Now, about the title of this post: Mackerel is not herring.


Yesterday evening Savage Kitten and myself had dinner at a sushi restaurant. She is inordinately fond of seafood, and being a coastal person who spent a lot of time in Holland (a country whose commercial enterprise was first formed by fishing fleets several centuries ago), I too am rather fond of fish.

Many sushi restaurants have herring. Though it is too fatty for Japanese tastes, it is a delicious fish, relatively cheap, easy to trim and slice, and the non-Japanese seem to like it.
This restaurant, however, did not have herring.

They did have mackerel. Like herring, mackerel is fine and fatty, but while the meat of herring is rather buttery, that of mackerel is oily. There is, consequently, a profound difference in mouth-feel, especially when raw. Because of this, and differences in texture and density, the fish can spoil quickly; it must be eaten soon after capture.
For sushi, a mild cure to prolong edibility is common - which precisely explains why I am fond of mackerel sushi. To me, taste-wise, it strongly echoes Dutch-style herring, which is also lightly cured. There is even a similarity of appearance, though the flesh looks softer and less glistensome, and has a yellower hue. It is close enough, and hence very nice.

Savage Kitten however is a purist, and fiercely disagrees.
What it feels like to the tongue is probably a stronger determinant in her case.

"Mackerel is NOT herring!"

The last types of sushi we ordered were ika and maguro. The waitress must have mistaken ika for ikura....

We ate it anyhow. Within the context of a sushi restaurant, and given the variables that influence American pronunciation of Japanese words, a framework is created wherein hearing 'ikura' for 'ika' is both logical and appropriate.
You must appreciate the ikura for what it is.

Mackerel is not herring - it is significantly different.

Salmon roe is not squid, but it is very much the same.

There is no connection between the first part of this post and the last. Though really, there is.


Cynical friend said...

This was inside the box once:

Hot Fat said...

But how do these fish taste wrapped in bacon?

The back of the hill said...

To Cynical friend: good lord that takes me back. I can remember when the Kommunistiese Eenheid Nederland (Marxisten-Leninisten) and other fellow travellers played tunes like that at all their meetings and events.
It was supposed to inspire.

Given that none of the apathetic casual attendees even knew what it was about, and were only there because they had begged us, it didn't.

Baffled, yes. Inspired, no.
Where's my box of freebies?

The back of the hill said...

At Hot Fat: probably like bacon.

I would suggest pre-cooking the bacon, and not wrapping the fish but stewing it gently alongside. Fish falls apart if subjected to the same heat for the same length of time as bacon.

Alternatively, broodje haring met gebakken spek a la Americaine.

The back of the hill said...

Rereading this, I realize that it was the last time that Savage Kitten and I went out to eat as a couple.

On the much rarer occasions that we dine together now, it's as old friends.

Things are quite different now than they were in 2010.

I cannot remember having sushi since.

The back of the hill said...

October 6, 2015.

No sushi in over five years. Dang.

Oh well. No sushi.

Zoshi said...

Does that restaurant still exist? Or is it long gone?

The back of the hill said...

Zoshi, that restaurant closed several years ago. The location has been three restaurants since then. It's a hot spot.

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