Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Things to try: tequila edition

Until recently, my only experience of tequlia had been tequila shots and the 'lip, sip, suck' (salt, tequila, lime) drill.  I didn't know that shots typically used just one type of tequila, and that there are other types with different types of flavours.

Silver (or 'white') tequila is what they normally use in shots.  Silver tequila is un-aged and has a rawer, more vegetal taste.  All the other types are aged.

There's Reposado which is aged for less than a year.  ~AUD$40-50 upwards

Añejo which is aged for one to three years.  ~AUD$70 upwards (often over $100).  There's also an Extra Añejo category, which is aged even longer.

Gold tequila (known as Joven or oro tequila) is a mixture of a silver tequila and an aged tequila.

Trying them.

Reposado tequila has a nice smooth, earthy flavour.  I reckon it goes best 1:1 with some soda water.  The slight bite of soda water suits it (soda water is preferable to mineral water, which is preferable to still water).  You can also sip it straight.  Of those I've tried, El Espolon is my favourite, el Jimador is decent, and I'd steer clear of the Sierra reposado - it's not very nice.

I haven't tried an Añejo yet, but presumably it's similar to a Reposado.

I find Silver tequila goes well with generous amount of soda water and a dash of lime juice, or with tonic water.

Other things.

Watermelon wedges soaked in Reposado tequila tastes great!

If gluten is a problem for you, good quality tequilas are 100% gluten free.  Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, and the good quality tequilas will say "100% blue agave" on the label - these are completely gluten free.  If the label doesn't say that, then the tequila will be a Mixto, which includes other ingredients, and these mightn't be gluten free.  More info.

Oh, and this is what blue agave plants look like:

the 'hearts' of the plants, from which the tequila is made. source.

Wikipedia page on tequila

I'd like a 'Lessons Learnt' episode of Grand Designs

It must be Grand Designs season on this blog, coz this post makes two in a row about the show.

That show's been going for over ten years and they've probably featured around 100 homes.  So what are the lessons learnt?  Are there any lessons to be learnt?  Any common patterns to successes or to failures?  Any other types of patterns (concerning: aesthetics, construction materials, amount or type of planning done, use of experts, etc etc)?

It could make for an interesting episode.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Visually comparing the different stages of a house's construction

I was just watching the tv show Grand Designs.  It's nice to see the development of a house from plans, through construction to the finished design.

One thing I find, though, is that it's always hard to connect the before and after.  You see the after shot and it's hard to remember what that spot looked like at different stages in the construction, and it made me think about how you make those details more apparent.

They could show the exact same shot -- with the camera in the exact same location, pointing in the exact same direction -- at different points in the house's development, starting with the empty site, when the foundations are up, when the wall frames are up, when the roof and walls are done, and when it's fully furnished.  They could run through them in chronological order, transitioning between them by fading the current one out and at the same time fading the next one in, so you could see a bit more of the relationship between the two.

Such a technique could also be employed on moving shots, such as a shot that sweeps across a room, or one that starts at one end of a long room, facing towards the other end of the room, and then moves towards the other end of the room.  As the camera moves along, the imagery could seamlessly progress between the different stages of the development.

And of course such techniques lend themselves to some sort of interactive presentation on a web-site.  (It makes me think of these interactive before-and-after photos of the recent Brisbane floods.)