Posts from August 2010

What's My Carbon Footprint on A Running Around Day With No Time To Write

Tuesday is Green Day and I have to confess that I broke the Green Day rule by spending most of the day driving here, there and back.

Nothing exciting like a walk in the park or relaxing at the shore mind you.

I was just dealing with paperwork, administrative stuff.

Boring things need to be tended to from time to time.

So my lack of writing was not due to slacking.

If I decide to check my impact on the world as a result of all this driving I can put the Carbon Footprint Calculator from Nature Conservancy.

It offers 4 options: home energy, driving and flying, food and diet, recycling and waste.

Adressing a broader audience, Cool California also offers a Carbon Calculator as well as practical tips for individuals, businesses and local government alike.


Katie Peek tries to get to the bottom of this issue in How Well Do Carbon Footprint Calculators Estimate Your Impact? (Science Line, January 26) comparing 9 different options.

Guilt trip management for Green Day # 142

Previously: Eat Your Yard, Add Color, Scents and Culinary Uses to Your Garden

(* Footprint illustration courtesy of Marketing Mirror by Fazal Siddiqi)

Momondo, Are These Danish Really Best Source for Cheap Flights?

They got started in 2006 so you cannot call Momondo a newcomer.

This Copenhagen based price comparison engine is one more voice in the crowded field of travel search.

Some praise it for deeper range of options searched while a number of voices call it the best source for cheap flights.

I gave them a test drive for 'flights' from Newwark (NJ) to Barcelona (Spain) leaving September 8 returning September 22, 2010.

I liked the fast loading, clean, easy to read results.

If you want to see your best dates for the month, the top of the page delivers that.

Go with the Calendar (not the Chart) option which by giving best price for each day is not snazzy but clearer.

In the left column, you can adjust the search criterias on a number of parameters including direct to 2 stops, departure time, price range, airports nearby besides your first choice, ticket type and airlines.


Are these Danish really the best source for cheap flights?

I did a search on Kayak with same itinerary and dates to check, the cheapest Momondo offer was $685 versus $700 on Kayak.

I cannot draw conclusion from this one instance that Momondo always finds best deal.

Momondo came to my attention today via the Travel Blog Exchange announcement of their European conference in Copenhagen. They happen to be the main sponsor.

Visa Pour l'Image 2010, Photojournalism Festival in Perpignan, Until Sept 12, Free

The world comes to Perpignan from August 28 to September 12 for Visa pour l'Image 2010, a celebration of photography or more precisely Photojournalism.

World masters of this brand of reporting, get a chance to share their work with the public at large since the festival is Free.


They show us the calm as well as the harsh side of human nature.

On the sunnier side of things I noticed these Exhibitions

Wisdom of the Human Race by Danielle and Olivier Föllmi, "a tribute to the grandeur of human beings and human dignity, and a celebration of the spiritual heritage of mankind.  A decade traveling and investigating the world produced this major humanistic project."

The Congo River by Cedric Gerbehaye,"the majestic Congo River, the second largest river in the world after the Amazon, is the spine of the country with the same name, forming a link between the Katanga mines, the equatorial forest and the capital city, Kinshasa."

Entrance is  Free and Exhibitions are opened from 10 AM to 8 PM.

There are also evening screenings taking a look back at over and under reported events from the past year.

Specialist magazine Zmala 'A curious eye' will launch Issue #2 during the festival (September 2).


Since the festival events are scattered in a number of locations around Perpignan, it will give attendees a chance to explore this fine city.

Whisky Craft and or Science

I cannot pretend being a Whisky or should I say Single Malt expert.

I am getting a bit of an education here and there.

Reading The science and art of whisky making (August 23, Guardian) by Andy Connelly made me delve deeper into the subject.

He explores layers that have to do with science, craft, history and taste.


Let me just quote one excerpt of the piece:

"Whisky is the liquid gold that emerges from the distillation of base beer. It is "the separation of the gross from the subtle and the subtle from the gross ... to make the spiritual lighter by its subtlety" (Hieronymus Brunschwig, 15th century doctor and distiller). Almost all spirits are produced by distillation: a liquid with a low alcohol content such as wine or beer can be taken and from it a spirit produced. Alchemists believed that through repeated distillation they could extract the essence or spirit of a material and that from wine they could extract the aqua vītae or water of life. The word itself, whisky, is an Anglicised version of the Gaelic for water of life: uisge beatha or usquebaugh is what Irish and Scots monks called their distilled barley beer."

I could not be that eloquent.

In case you wondered I have not tasted the 50 Year Old Glenfiddich (yet) and this is not a promo for it, just my illustration of the topic.

Taste One Truck at A Time, OC Foodie Fest 2010, Orange County, August 28

Assemble 50 Food Trucks in one spot, the Honda Center in Anaheim, Orange County, California.

Get the word out to all local gourmets, pick a late summer date, Saturday, August 28.

Add a do good factor by giving a portion of the proceeds to 2 local  charities Child S.HA.R.E. and Pretend City Childrens Museum while supporting small businesses.

Mix all these ingredients and you have the OC Foodie Fest 2010.

On a walk around event like this who would not like Tapas courtesy of Barcelona On the Go.


Feel like something cool and adventurous, Dirty mint, bacon, lambrusco, pear, balsamic fig flavors by CoolHaus Ice Cream Sandwiches might do it.

Want Chinese-Mexican fusion, Don Chow Tacos carry that flag.


Seafood your thing, The Shrimp Guys deliver.

Don't care for any of these 4, you are left with 46 Other options.

Not sure how many if any tickets are left at this time.

Tickets Prices:
General Admission (Pre-Sale)
Adult - $12.00
Child Under 12 - $6.00
Child 3 & Under - Free

Family 4 Pack (Pre-Sale)
2 Adult + 2 Child (Under 12)
General Admission Tickets
Price: $30.00

At The Door (Available if the event has not sold out)
General Admission - $15

OC Foodie Fest 2010 runs from 11:30 AM to 7:00 PM (Pacific Time of Course) on Saturday, August 28.

Let us know how things go if you happen to attend.

Voting Extended for my 6 Years Blogging Love Panel at South by Southwest to Sunday, August 29

Today felt like cramming revisions before an exam as the hours kept dwindling for a chance to get more Votes for my Six Years Blogging Love Lust 7 Year Itch Panel Idea at South by Southwest Interactive 2011.

As I kept shooting one message after another, the news came in.

Voting via the South by Southwest Panel Picker will now Close at 11:59 PM (US Central Time) on Sunday, August 29, 2010 instead of today Friday.


Now I have time for more cramming.

You have time to VOTE HERE if you did not give me the Thumbs Up yet.

A short registration is needed before Voting.

Please add your comments after Voting.

Cafe Hopman, Day at the Beach and Cold Draft Beer in Chigasaki, 1 Hour from Tokyo

Not sure why Robbie Swinnerton of Tokyo Food File visited Chigasaki?

Maybe he wanted to escape Tokyo on a hot summer day for a quieter place.

He hopped on the train for a visit to Chigasaki (1 hour away by train) and found time to stop by Cafe Hopman, which he writes caters to local folks, couples, beer aficionados and also surfers. Robbie notes that the beach is only a 20 minutes walk away.

So Chigasaki might be one of those places residents of Tokyo head for on a daily shore outing.

Two of the Japanese brews Robbie tasted were Yonayona Real Ale on the right; and Toshi's IPA on the left (pictured below).


The owner of Cafe Hopman put together a small menu to go with his craft beers including (wafu) pizza. The pizza base is homemade, and you get a choice of 2 different toppings: 1) Dried Fruit and Nuts (which we didn't try); or 2) ネギとカリカリじゃっこ (kujo-negi spring onions and crispy little whitebait), with red miso smeared on the crisp crust for extra savory seasoning.

If you are just visiting Tokyo and want to stay there, Robbie suggests you try the August Beer Club...

Cold beer surfing for Tokyo Thursdays # 154

Previously: Sad Unwanted Mambo Fish at Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

Voting for my Six Years Blogging Panel at SXSW Interactive Ends Friday, August 27 at Midnight

I don't want to beat my dear readers on the head about it yet I do have a Panel Idea offered for South by Southwest Interactive 2011.

It is Titled Six Years Blogging, Lust, Love, Seven Year Itch

As part of the selection process, anyone can Vote for their Favorites through the Panel Picker.

Voting ends on Friday August 27, 2010 at Midnight (US Central Time).

What's my entry about in a nutshell:

I started writing 'Serge the Concierge'in March 2005, now in my 6th year with 3000 plus posts under my belt, I pause and wonder. I enjoy writing. Possibly because I stick to things I am passionate about. It does take discipline. Call it a second job that does not pay at least not with financial rewards. It does open doors to museums, events, food and wine tastings. I get gourmet food, wine and cookbooks in the mail. Interview interesting people. Make readers happy when then win a contest. Does it need to be more before I get the 7 year itch? "I will share the stage with a sparring partner (probably a lady) who has been at it for as long as I have but covering other topics and our 2 voices will provide for a richer canvas.

I would appreciate your Vote if you like the topic.

You can Vote and give us the Thumbs Up and Comment on It by visiting the Six Years Blogging, Love, Lust, the 7 Year Itch Page on the Panel Picker.

A short registration (name, e-mail address, password and validation) is needed prior to voting.


Thank you!

Watching the Detectives, The Restaurateur Double Bill with Bushwick, August 29-30, New York

Roger Sherman won accolades including Best Food Documentary Award at Sonoma Film Festival for The Restaurateur a bit of cinema verite following Danny Meyer working through the simultaneous 1998 openings of his restaurants Eleven Madison Park and Tabla.

I had the pleasure to attend a private screening of The Restaurateur back in May.

There were no plans at the time for a theater run.

I just learned from Roger that The Restaurateur will actually share a double bill with Bushwick, a detective flick directed by Luis Landivar, on August 29 and 30, 2010, at Village East Cinema in New York.

For your information:

The RESTAURATEUR will play immediately following “Bushwick” which runs 70 minutes and plays at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 10pm.

The RESTAURATEUR begins at approximately: 2:10, 5:10, 8:10, 11:10

Roger Sherman has another food related project in the pipeline (trailer below).

Don't miss The Restaurateur week-end run if you are in New York.

Sticky Date or Mocha Chocolate, Ramadan Cupcakes At Kitsch Cupcakes in Dubai

Some middle eastern pastries can be sticky sweet.

Kitsch Cupcakes were the first cupcakes bar to open in the Emirates on Jumeira Beach Road in Dubai.

For Ramadan 2010 which runs until September 9, Kitsch came up with 2 flavors, the Mocha- Chocolate cupcake with a rich coffee icing and the Sticky Date which is a sticky date cupcake flavour with a cinammon and date icing.


The Ramadan cupcakes are available at their Jumeira branch in Dubai in normal size and minis (by order only).

Sticky date

For the rest of their offerings consult the Menu...