Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Best of 2012

This is my list of the best and most useful places, ideas, things, etc of 2012. These are not necessarily new to 2012 but what moved onto my radar last year. Click to read on.

  1. Best music site was Pitchfork. This site gave me so many new ideas in music. The most, by far, of any other source.
  2. Best way to protect your internet identity is use SwissVPN. Very cheap, easy to deal with, and will make anyone trying to track you think you are on a computer in Switzerland.
  3. Most interesting blog with the widest range of ideas and clear thinking was David Brin. He talks about politics, science fiction, health, economics - just about anything. I read several of his science fiction books this year and found them very thought-provoking.
  4. Best "exercise" program was R-Phase by Z-Health. This will help you heal all those joint and structural issues. I am going to try I-Phase this year to take this to the next step.
  5. The most useful source for recipes was a paysite called Cooks Illustrated. I hate paying for website subscriptions but found CI was the place for me this year when it came to cooking. Probably 70% of new recipes I tried this year came from CI. Why? Because they worked out well over and over. 
  6. Most heavily played CD of the year was Howlin Wolf's London Session. If this session only had his song called Wang Dang Doodle it would be perfect. To get that one you need The Definitive Collection.
  7. For new music I listened to Frank Ocean's Channel Orange the most. While this really sounded new and hip and all that at first, after a few weeks of heavy rotation it is wearing off. If you have not heard it though, I highly recommend giving it a listen.
  8. Best single day of bike riding this year was the UDC Tours route from Booneville, CA to Sea Ranch. The legs felt real good that day.
  9. Most memorable meal of the year was at Scopa in Healdsburg. The meatball appetizer and Nonna's chicken were incredible that day. 
  10. Most memorable meal at home was the smoked beef tongue reuben sandwich. It was probably not the best but definitely the most memorable because the beef tongue was completely transformed into the best tongue I have ever cooked or eaten. 
  11. Wine of the year is the 2001 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Especial Rioja. You can still buy it right now!!!! This is not an everyday quaffer but for the special meal uncork this baby. I think it rivals Bordeaux at 3 - 4x the price. 
  12.  Most used recipe of the year was chimichurri. I used variations of this recipe on steaks, lamb chops, lamb shoulder and leg, and even hamburgers. Cook your meat and while it rests let the chimichurri rest on top. Incredibly easy way to create a gourmet meal. Sometimes I used lemon juice instead of vinegar. Sometimes I left out paprika. Use your intuition with different meats and cuts to find your favorite. 
  13. New spirit of the year was Aperol. The Aperol spritz gave the St Germaine spritzer a run for top honors in the drink category. 
  14. Movie of the Year was ALL.I.CAN. It was released towards the end of 2011 and seemed to get official movie awards in both 2011 and 2012.  
  15. Book of the year was the Steven Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. It was released in late 2011 but I did not read it until 2012. Fantastic book about a man driven to make his visions manifest in the physical world. Anyone with a technical background, that lived in or around Silicon Valley in the 80's - 00's, or that are interested in seeing genius at work will like this book. Steve is not a cuddly guy, but who cares? 
 What moved you in 2012? 

This was Sojkas Call 2011 list in case you were curious. I reread it after writing the 2012 list but did not change anything on the 2012 list in case you were curious.

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