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The Apple Watch: Musings on faces

Posted in Reductionism.

Two things that confound me about the Apple Watch is a) why Apple is so insistent on packing it with analogue faces, and b) why people use them. Blending in skeuomorphic representations of top-of-the-line mechanical watches with glanceable information looks good in marketing…

The default Apple Watch face

… but it is a mess to actually use.

Customizing the Apple Watch within the boundaries of what it actually is – a fitness device with quick access to micro-views of the iPhone – is a better way to take advantage of its usability. My personal pick is the Infograph Modular.

My Apple Watch face
An oasis of easy-to-read information.

It’s glanceable, and the large mid area is great for more in-depth information. (In this case, Activity, though I suspect many will get good use out of Weather or Calendar.) The way I look at it, Apple Watch is about as much of a watch as the iPhone is a phone.

And if you want a face that looks like a high-end analogue watch? Go get a high-end watch. The Nautilus 5711/1A will run you a cold $25,000, but it’s hard to argue that it isn’t a fine piece of jewelry.


Nancy Drew, the CW classic in the making

Posted in TV.

Nancy Drew is back, this time in the gen-x-pandering, yet millennial-friendly guise the CW is so fond of. (See Riverdale.)

And this time, things have changed.

Nancy Drew, official poster Nancy's shady boyfriend, Nick Nancy's new friend, Bess
Never, not once, does a character not stare pensively off screen in this show.

After a long, fruitful career as a teenage sleuth, Nancy is retired, living the tail end of her teenage years as a high-school student and a server at a local diner. That’s right, this new, gritty take on the 1960s literary icon features a haggard, burnt-out investigator.

But I’ll be damned if she doesn’t get pulled back in for just one last case.

What is the nightmare from her childhood all about? Who killed Tiffany Hudson? Why are a) all the inhabitants of Horseshoe Bay haunted by J-Horror ghosts, and b) why does nobody talk about it? These are baffling mysteries indeed.

Starring as our eponymous hero is Kennedy McMann, who, like the rest of the teens, looks just old enough to be ready to seriously invest in a retirement plan. Impressively, she looks senior to her TV dad, Scott Wolf.

So pretty much everything about Nancy Drew is ridiculous. It is also downright mesmerizing. You’d have to be clinically dead not to find this show entertaining. And credit where credit is due – the cast does a laudable job with scripts delivered by the creators of Gossip Girl. McMann is downright good as Nancy herself.

Make tonight a Nancy Drew night. It’s streaming on HBO Max.

Bonus! The top ten sleuths of our time
  1. Jessica Fletcher
  2. Nan Bobbsey
  3. Frank Hardy
  4. Nancy Drew
  5. Timmy (the dog from The Famous Five)
  6. Freddie Bobbsey
  7. Jonathan Chase (Manimal)
  8. Laura Holt (Remington Steele)
  9. Joe Hardy
  10. Automan

Fun fact about Automan-actor Chuck Wagner: He has served as Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus’s ringmaster since 2005. A true renaissance man.


Moje

Posted in Eats.

Summer it up with this tomato salad from Murcia, Spain: Moje.

Mix together in a large bowl. That’s it. Tasty and refreshing. The end result should look something like this n'yah:

Moje in mixing bowl

Norwegian Gastronomy #1: Fredagstacoen – The Friday Taco

Posted in Eats.

Norway loves its taco. This might come as somewhat of a surprise for those who associate the country solely with lutefisk and lefse, but here we are, and so is life. The taco has become a part of Norwegian culture, or as it is, an appropriated offshoot of it has: Fredagstacoen, or The Friday Taco, is the country’s third most popular dish after pasta and pizza.

A Norwegian taco Sale on taco kits
To the right: Norwegian grocery store sign advertising 1/2 price taco accoutrements from Old El Paso, every Friday and Saturday.

Fredagstacoen is, as one would assume, enjoyed on Fridays. Sure, you could make it on Thursdays or Saturdays like a philistine, but you’re better than that. Friday Tacos should be made on Fridays, that’s just how it is.

But, is this something you can prepare at home here in America? Yes. Kind of.

See, Fredagstacoen is more of a facsimile of the Americanized grocery-store taco than the traditional Mexican variety. You know, hard shells, ground beef, and all that. And while both share similarities, there are some curveballs to be aware of. Follow this recipe, and you can get close to a Friday evening of Norwegian proportions:

The predictable part
It gets strange
Where it gets tricky
The Tortillaing™

Shell; meat; cheese; lettuce; corn; cucumber; red pepper; sour cream; salsa. A pretty predictable assembly.

Pair with a Solo. You can find this Norwegian Friday staple – taco or no taco – in many Scandinavian import stores. It’s an orange soda, and uniquely so, though I suppose a Fanta will do in a pinch.

Fun Norway-taco fact!

The first grocery store to sell taco ingredients in Norway was in Stavanger during the oil rush of the late sixties. Apparently, your regular Norwegian fishballs and fårikål would not do for the American oil tycoons. Read the full story at NRK, provided you know Norwegian.