Barbecue a la Française
Sunday June 25th 2006, 12:00 am
Filed under: daily life,food and drinks,stories

sausages Perhaps these cases were isolated, but my experiences at BBQs chez French people’s houses involve…well, heavy in the stomach mega-hungry-man amounts of meat eating. Yeah, I know that’s what’s the main ingredient at a barbecue but I am simply AMAZED at the level of meat consumption there is – And very negligent in the vegetable category. Imagine the food pyramid here!! Top tier: meat. Second tier: meat: Third: meat and one speck of the corner: potatoes.

A while back we had a BBQ chez my French inlaws; they had sausages, big slabs of steak and that’s about it but really a lot of it. No skewered kebabs, ribs, shrimp, burgers, marinated chicken or vegetables to bbq, you know? (Being from California, I got really used to eating vegetables.) To-date, I’ve noticed no marinated meats at BBQs here. It’s just that during the summer, I really like a light fare, fresh crisp salads and vegetables with a little bbq is great. It was a surprise.

My mummy-in-law drops eight (yes, eight!) BBQed sausages on my plate, so I then ask out loud, “Who wants sausages?” She says, “But! Those are for you.” (I didn’t eat beef at the time so I had to eat the pork).

Me: “ALL those sausages are for me?!! I only want one, two max.” These are not teeny tiny breakfast links but rather, 10-inch-ish long pork sausages. That one plate of sausages alone was more meat than I’d eaten in the last 10 years total! (of course, that has changed since my vegetarian days and definitely since living in France. Now, just call me PT Carnivore)

I look over to my S.O. to push some sausages onto his plate but his is already piled mile high with gobs of BBQed meat. He smiled as he saw the panicked look on my face as I imagined me later turning into a contorted pretzel in agony while having cardiac arrest. “Ok, one or two and even possibly (but a stretch) three but EIGHT?!” I hadn’t even begun eating and felt tight-chested. Right about then, a glass of water sounded great for dinner.

After calming down a little, I got up to look for some fresh vegetables, salad or something that could, you know, even by a mere thread of hope, offset the terrible effects of all the meat I was about to assault my body with. I didn’t see anything.

S.O.: “What are you looking for?”

Me: “The sides. Is there a salad or some veggies anywhere?”

S.O.: They’re coming.”

Me: “What’s coming??”

S.O.: “French fries.”

Me: “Great.”

Congrats France!
Saturday June 24th 2006, 2:40 am
Filed under: news,sports

No one expected it but Les Bleus won against Togo by the necessary 2 points! They now can proceed on to the next round of the World Cup.

I was at a meeting with our environmental group so I missed practically all of the game. I did, however, notice that some people quietly tip-toed out to *cough* *ahem* “go somewhere important” right before the start time of the match.

It reminded me of that commercial on TV, where two people are on a date at a restaurant and the guy excuses himself because he gets a call on his cel phone. He says, “Sorry, work.” Then leaves the room to watch the football game.

I don’t blame them; it was probably a pretty good match :D

Related: I Think I Heart Football

Géoportail: Google Earth’s French Rival, Or Not
Friday June 23rd 2006, 3:18 pm
Filed under: games/software/tech,news,weird


While everyone in France was preparing to watch the World Cup match with France playing against Togo to try to qualify for the next round, Jacques Chirac unveiled a new website called Géoportail offering high-resolution aerial imagery of France and all of the French territories, in an attempt to rival the planetary success of the US pioneer in the field, Google Earth. Despite the gobs of people more concentrated on all things football, there still was a formidable number of users trying to access the service to try it out, but because the system wasn’t prepared to receive all of the traffic once launched, the system crashed.

Boo hoooo!

[via AFP/Yahoo]

DRM Bill Gets Tweaked and Approved in France
Friday June 23rd 2006, 1:39 am
Filed under: music,news,politics

Via Gizmodo

Lawmakers in France approved a softened copyright law that allows a workaround for Apple to keep their iTunes and iPod in the market. The law still tries to make Apple open up their online music service to other MP3 players, but also has a loophole that allows companies like Apple to make a deal with copyright holders—the record companies—to keep the iTunes/iPod bundling intact. Along with having to get permission from the big 5 record companies, iTunes needs to track down all independent labels and strike deal with them too—something the indies may not be quite willing to do. This could possibly mean that parts of iTunes tracks will be available to non-iPod players in France. Something we’ll have to keep an eye on.

Related: Apple Computer Stores and DRM in France

Starzik – Buy DRM-free Music Online in France
Thursday June 22nd 2006, 2:45 am
Filed under: music,news,websites

Today will mark the day in history where French government votes on the issue of Apple’s evil DRM, the digital restriction management attached to each song, which controls the use and access of digital media content on mp3 players and computers. Will they allow Apple to keep this controlling element on downloaded songs? Hope not, but me thinks, oui – We’ll see what happens later on today…

starzikLuckily, there are some alternatives. Enter: Starzik. Despite its weird tagline, “Get hit easy!” this French digital media service is pretty cool. Available only in France for now, Starzik offers songs without any digital rights management attached to them. By negotiating specific contracts with independent digital music distributor, The Orchard, Starzik will be able to offer more than 600,000 tracks of DRM-free music from three major labels and thousands of indie labels. The number of available tracks should grow in time too. Most of the tracks will be offered in different formats: mp3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and AAC. Music categories include: ambiant/diverse, chanson francaise, movie/tv soundtracks, classical, dance/house/techno/electric, children’s music, jazz/blues, Celtic and music from Brittany, world music, pop/rock, rap/hip hop/r&b. There are also training mp3’s available for body building and diet/fitness.

Songs/tracks are 1 euro and albums are 9 euros but you can find many free downloads on the site as well. Some of the music is really old and there are a lot of unknown artists – but just like with all things, if you dig and explore you could be led to some hidden gems.

Visit Starzik

Related: Apple Computer Stores and DRM in France and National Assembly’s Midnight Meeting to Propose Laws on Digital Rights

[via Macworld UK]

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