Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Books I have read Vol. 2

August 6th, 2013 No comments

The point of this is simply to prevent me from buying the same books again and again,…

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Stock predictions for 7/19

July 18th, 2011 No comments

My predictions of 7/15 did well, I missed most the opportunities because well as a medical resident the stock market is something one never has time to do.

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Stock Predictions for 7/15/11

July 14th, 2011 No comments

Recently I have tried making some money in the stock market.  I find it enjoyable and I initially had good success, but I got a bit ambitions, lost some, and learned alot.  I am going to post some of my thoughts and predictions, mainly for my own gratification.  If you take any of my advise, you deserve to lose money if your not doing your own research.

These are my initial stock predictions.  Yes, I am posting them after the fact.  But I am posting them to keep me honest, so I can look back and see what I thought, and I will post future predictions prior to market opening.

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Anyone have a spare Droid 1?

April 16th, 2011 No comments

My droid is done.  Anyone have a spare?

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Restaurant Review: Commander’s Palace – Destin, Fl

June 3rd, 2010 No comments

Commander’s Palace: is a chain of fine dinning restaurants originating in New Orleans that offers modern spins on classic southern creole cooking.  I have been to New Orleans and Destin Commander’s franchises many times.  I keep returning because the service is impeccable, the food wonderful, and the menu different.

The Food: Commander’s offers local proteins and produce presented in classic southern and modern creole dishes.  In Destin, the menu has classics from New Orleans, such as turtle soup and crawfish, but the focus is on local seafood.

The highs: All of the food was impeccable prepared and the service was tremendous.  For my first course, I had turtle soup.  If you have never had turtle soup at Commander’s it is something you must try; it is prepared with a dark roux and the stock is reduced until it is almost a stew.   For my second course I had, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Black Truffle Gnocchi appetizer.  This was easily one of the best courses I have eaten in years; it had a wonderful earthy taste, but each bite revealed new flavors and compexity.  For the main courses we had whole flash fried flounder and the Angus steak.  The who fried flounder, was tender/flaky and the presentation was stunning.  The steak’s temperature was perfect temperature and the accompanying truffle butter and sauce forestiere, elevated this meal from a simple steak house meal to fine dining.  

The Lows: I could have used more bread…

Ambiance:  A tranquil modern dining room over looking the Destin pass and Destin Bridge.   While dining, there was an airshow and fireworks over Destin Pass making for a very memorable meal.   It is an ideal setting for business and pleasure.

Cost:  Appetizers averaged $8 and entrees $28-32 for above-average sized portions.

Overall: An outstanding dining experience.  I have been to Commander’s many times and this was easily one of the best meals I have eaten at Commander’s or anywhere else.  It is easy to see Commander’s is an institution in New Orleans and soon to be in Destin.


June 1st, 2010 No comments

Books: That I have read in no particular order.  I am tried of going to a bookstore and buying books from the stacks that I have already read.  Unfortunately, >90% of the books I have read have been from a library, so this is a mere fraction I can remember
** Denotes top quintile.
†† Denotes bottom quintile
?? Denotes probably read

Books to Buy
Steve Alten – Resurrection
Dale Brown – Dreamland: Whiplash (2009), Executive Intent (2010)
Hiaasen – Nature Girl (2006)

Douglas Adams
1. The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980)
3. Life, the Universe and Everything (1982)
4. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984)
5. Mostly Harmless (1992)

Dante Alighieri

Steve Alten

Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The Politics

Louis Armstrong

Jane Austin
Sense and Sensibility (1811)
Pride and Prejudice (1813)

David Baldacci
Split Second
Absolute Power (1996)
Total Control (1996)

Dale Brown
Patrick McLanahan Series
Flight of the Old Dog (1987) **
The Tin Man (1998) ??
Battle Born (1999) ??
Warrior Class (2001)
Wings of Fire (2002)
Air Battle Force (2003)
Plan of Attack (2004)
Strike Force (2007)
Shadow Command (2008)
Rogue Forces (2009) – ???
Act of War Series

Act of War
Edge of Battle (2006)
Independent Series
Silver Tower (1988)
Chains of Command (1993)

Dreamland (2001)
Nerve Center (2002)
Razor’s Edge (2002)
Piranha (2003)??
Strike Zone (2004)
Armageddon (2004)
Satan’s Tail (2005)
End Game (2006)
Retribution (2007)
Revolution (October 28, 2008)

Dan Brown
Digital Fortress, 1998
Angels & Demons, 2000
Deception Point, 2001
The Da Vinci Code, 2003
The Lost Symbol, 2009

Jimmy Carter
An Hour Before Daylight

Lee Child
Killing Floor (1997)
Die Trying (1998)
Tripwire (1999)
Running Blind  (2000)
Echo Burning (2001)??
Without Fail (2002)??
Persuader (2003)**
The Enemy (2004)
One Shot (2005)
The Hard Way (2006)
Bad Luck and Trouble (2007)
Nothing To Lose (2008)

Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales

Lincoln Child
Utopia (2002) **
Death Match (2004) **
Deep Storm (2007)
Terminal Freeze (2009)

Arthur C Clarke
Childhood’s End (1953)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2010: Odyssey Two (1982)
3001: The Final Odyssey (1997)

Tom Clancy
Red Storm Rising (1986)
Jack Ryan/John Clark Universe
Without Remorse (1993)
Patriot Games (1987)
Red Rabbit (2002)
The Hunt for Red October (1984)
The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)
Clear and Present Danger (1989)
The Sum of All Fears (1991)
Debt of Honor (1994)
Executive Orders (1996)
Rainbow Six (1998)
The Bear and the Dragon (2000)
The Teeth of the Tiger (2003)
Op-Center Universe
Mirror Image
Games of State??
Acts of War
Balance of Power
NetForce Universe
NetForce (1998)
Power Plays Series
Politika (1997)
??likely more??

Eoin Colfer
And, Another Thing, . . .

Robin Cook
Year of the Intern (1972)
Coma (1977)
Sphinx (1979)
Brain (1981)
Fever (1982)
Godplayer (1983)
Mindbend (1985)
Outbreak (1987)
Mortal Fear (1988)
Mutation (1989)
Harmful Intent (1990)
Vital Signs (1991)
Blindsight (1992)
Terminal (1993)
Fatal Cure (1994)
Acceptable Risk (1994)
Contagion (1995)
Chromosome 6 (1997)
Invasion (1997)
Toxin (1998)
Vector (1999)
Abduction (2000)
Shock (2001)
Seizure (2003)
Marker (2005)
Crisis (2006)??
Critical (2007)
Foreign Body (2008)

Richard Connell
The Most Dangerous Game

John Connelly
The Book of Lost Things

Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch series
7. A Darkness More Than Night (2001)**
8. City Of Bones (2002)
9. Lost Light (2003)
10. The Narrows (2004) **
11. The Closers (2005)
Other novels
The Poet (1996)
Blood Work (1998)
Void Moon (2000)
The Scarecrow (2009)???

Patricia Cornwell
Blow Fly (2003)
Trace (2004)??
Book of the Dead (2007)

James Fenimore Cooper
The Last of the Mohicans††

Stephen Crane
The Red Badge of Courage

Michael Crichton
1969             The Andromeda Strain
1972             The Terminal Man
1975             The Great Train Robbery
1976             Eaters of the Dead
1980             Congo
1987             Sphere
1990             Jurassic Park
1992             Rising Sun
1994             Disclosure
1995             The Lost World
1996             Airframe
1999             Timeline
2002             Prey
2004             State of Fear
2006             Next
2009             Pirate Latitudes

Clive Cussler
Pacific Vortex (1983) Dirk Pitt Novel
Mediterranean Caper (1973)
Iceberg (1975)
Raise the Titanic (1976)
Vixen 03 (1978)
Night Probe (1981)
Deep Six (1984)
Cyclops (1986)
Treasure (1988)
Dragon (1990)
Sahara (1992)
Inca Gold (1994)
Shockwave (1996)
Flood Tide (1997)
Atlantis Found (1999)
Valhalla Rising (2001)
Trojan Odyssey (2003)
Black Wind (2004)
Treasure of Khan (2006)
Arctic Drift (2008)
Sea Hunters (1996) Non-Fiction
The Sea Hunters II (2002)
Serpent (1999) NUMA Files
Blue Gold (2000)
Fire Ice (2002)
White Death (2003)
Lost City (2004)
Polar Shift (2005)
The Navigator (2007)
Medusa (2009)
The Silent Sea (2010)
Golden Buddha (2003) Oregon Files
Sacred Stone (2004)
Dark Watch (2005)
Skeleton Coast (2006)
Plague Ship (2008)
Corsair (2009)
The Chase (2007)  Isaac Bell Series**
Spartan Gold
Wrecker (2009)

Jeffery Deaver
Speaking In Tongues (2000)
Garden Of Beasts (2004)
John Pellam
3. Hell’s Kitchen (2001)
Lincoln Rhyme
1. The Bone Collector (1997)
2. The Coffin Dancer (1998)
3. The Empty Chair (2000)
4. The Stone Monkey (2002)
5. The Vanished Man (2003) **
6. The Twelfth Card (2005)
7. The Cold Moon (2006)
8. The Broken Window (2008)
Kathryn Dance
2. The Sleeping Doll (2007)

Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist
A Christmas Carol
David Copperfield
A Tale of Two Cities
Great Expectations

Tess Gerritsen
Life Support
The Mephisto Club

John Gilstrap
Nathan’s Run**

W.E.B. Griffin
Badge of Honor Series

Book III, The Victim (1991)??
Book IV, The Witness (1992)??
Book V, The Assassin (1993)??
Book VI, The Murderers (1994)
Book VIII, Final Justice (2003)
Honor Bound Series

Book I, Honor Bound (1993)
Book II, Blood and Honor (1996)
The Presidential Agent Series

Book II, The Hostage (2006)
Book IV, The Shooters (2008)
Book V, Black Ops (2009)

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter

Carl Hiaasen
Tourist Season (1986)
Double Whammy (1987)
Skin Tight (1989)
Native Tongue (1991)
Strip Tease (1993)
Stormy Weather (1995)
Lucky You (1997)
Naked Came the Manatee (1998)
Sick Puppy (2000)
Basket Case (2002)
Skinny Dip (2004)


The Iliad
The Odyssey

George Jones
I Lived to Tell It All

Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)††

C. S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Prince Caspian (1951)

Robert Ludlum
The Scarlatti Inheritance (1971)
The Bourne Identity (1980)
The Aquitaine Progression (1984)
The Bourne Supremacy (1986)
The Icarus Agenda (1988)
The Bourne Ultimatum (1990)
The Scorpio Illusion (1993)
The Apocalypse Watch (1995)
The Matarese Countdown (1997)
The Prometheus Deception (2000)
The Sigma Protocol ??

Selected Political Writings

Clinton McKinzie
The Edge of Justice

Glen Meade
Snow Wolfe

Herman Melville

John Milton
Paradise Lost

Sharon Moalem
Survival Of the Sickest

Jim Norton
Happy Endings
I Hate your Guts

John Kennedy O’Toole
A Confederacy of Dunces

George Orwell
Animal Farm (1945)
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

James Patterson
Alex Cross
1. Along Came a Spider (1993,
2. Kiss the Girls (1995,
3. Jack & Jill (1996
4. Cat and Mouse (1997,
5. Pop Goes the Weasel (1999,
6. Roses are Red (2000,
7. Violets Are Blue (2001,
8. Four Blind Mice (2002,
9. The Big Bad Wolf (2003,
12. Cross (2006,
13. Double Cross (2007,
Maximum Ride
1. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
Michael Bennett
1. Step on a Crack (2007)
Women’s Murder Club
1. 1st to Die (2001
2. 2nd Chance (2002,
3. 3rd Degree (2004???
5. The 5th Horseman (2006,
6. The 6th Target (2007,

Edgar Allan Poe
The complete stories

Douglas Preston
The Codex (2004)
Tyrannosaur Canyon (2005)
Blasphemy (2008) **amazing!
Impact (2010)

Douglas Preston & Lee Child
Relic (1995)**
Reliquary (1997)
The Cabinet of Curiosities (2002)
Still Life with Crows (2003)
Diogenes Trilogy

Brimstone (2004)
Dance of Death (2005)
The Book of the Dead (2006)
The Wheel of Darkness (2007)
Cemetery Dance (2009)
Fever Dream (2010)
Other novels

Mount Dragon (1996)
Riptide (1998)**
Thunderhead (1999)
The Ice Limit (2000)

Richard Preston
The Cobra Event
The Hot Zone
The Demon in the Freezer

Paul Pressler
A Hill on Which to Die††

James Rollins
Subterranean (1999)
Excavation (2000)
Amazonia (2002)**
Ice Hunt (2003)??
SIGMA Force series

1. Sandstorm (2004)
2. Map of Bones (2005)
3. Black Order (2006)??
4. Judas Strain (2007)
5. The Last Oracle (2008)
6. The Doomsday Key (2009)

The Basic Political Writing

J K Rowlings
Harry Potty 1-7

John Sanford
The Prey Series
Shadow Prey
Silent Prey
Mortal Prey
Naked Prey
Hidden Prey
Broken Prey
Invisible Prey
Phantom Prey
Wicked Prey
Storm Prey
Virgil Flowers
Dark of the Moon
Bad Blood??
The Kidd Series
The Fool’s Run??
The Devil’s Code
The Hanged Man’s Song

Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game series

Ender’s Game (1985)
Xenocide  (1991)
The Shadow saga

Ender’s Shadow (1999)

William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Romeo and Juliet
King Lear
Henry IV
Henry V

Mary Shelley

Upton Sinclair
The Jungle

Oedipus the King

Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island

Bram Stoker

Jonathon Swift
Gulliver’s Travels

Robert Tanenbaum

Henry David Thoreau

J. R. R. Tolkien
1937 The Hobbit
1954 The Fellowship of the Ring
1954 The Two Towers:
1955 The Return of the King
1977 The Silmarillion

Kilgore Trout/ Philip José Farmer
Venus on the Half-Shell

Mark Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

Booker T Washington
Up from Slavery

Stephen White
Privileged Information (1991)
The Program (2001)

Stephen Woodworth
With Red Hands

Richard Wright
Native sun †† – The worst book I have ever read.

Unknown Author

Categories: Book Reviews, Random, Uncategorized Tags:

Restaurant Review: Copper Grill, Destin FL

May 26th, 2010 No comments

Copper Grill: is a restaurant I have wanted to try for several years.  When it opened in 2000, I heard many good things about the fabulous cuisine.  Due to the regions abundance of outstanding local restaurants,  I put off going for about a decade.

The Food: The food offers are your standard fair steak house with a couple local catches and a selection of Maine and African lobster.  Before going to the restaurant, the online menu differs from the in restaurant menu in terms of price and the weight of steaks; the online menu has 2 ounce heavier steaks for $4-$5 less.

The highs: During the appetizer course, the Jumbo Lump Crab Martini was the highlight of the evening.  It was light and perfectly balanced for the summer, in fact it was likely the best item we ordered all night.  For the main course, all the steaks were cooked to the proper temperature.

The Lows: The tuna steak appetizer fell flat; its surface was badly burnt and that depreciate an otherwise attractive dish.  The restaurant has an open kitchen in the center of the establishment, while I am normally a fan of a kitchen on display, this one was more dismay.  There was only one chef and as he completed a course he placed it under the  salamander.  Some of the main courses from our table of four sat there for 10 minutes before being served.  While this is not completely outrageous it does explain why my lobster tail was leathery. In a restaurant who’s logo is a lobster, a rubbery-tough to cut with a steak knife lobster tail should make own re-evaluate the quality control. My last bone to pick is presentation, if you ordered a steak without topping, it comes out simply in the middle of a cutting board.  Simply a small slab of meat, lost on a large board with no garnish or accompaniment.

Ambiance:  Dimly lit with modern American decor.  Large comfortable booths.  I found our server to be slightly over bearing with her gimmicks and pressuring members of our party to get drinks/desserts. 

Cost:  Appetizers averaged $14 and entrees $40-43 for average sized portions.

Overall: Copper Grill is an average want-to-be ‘upscale’ steak house whose high prices will ultimately put it out of business.    Personally, I see no reason to return with Destin’s abundance of locally owned upscale dining and Ruth Chris just right down HW 98.

Book Review: Michael Crichton – Pirate Latitudes

December 20th, 2009 No comments

Once upon a time before medical school, I was an avid reader, but now I barely manage to keep up with my favorite authors.  When I heard that there was going to be a posthumous Crichton novel I has initially against it, however, I could not resist ordering a copy of Pirate Latitudes.

Pirate Latitudes is a period piece set in Caribbean in 1665.  It has a roughly written, but compelling story of Privateer Charles Hunter.  The novel is a chronicle of Captain Hunter’s plat to lay siege to the impenetrable fortress of Matanceros.  He chronicles a very imaginative plot that numerous twists that make a true page-turner.

However, one of the most notable features of this book, is it lacks the polished that most Crichton novel feature.  One has to believe that either he wrote a period piece for fun and never intended it to be published or that he passed before he could send it to editing.  The beginning of the book is the best written, but demonstrates numerous anecdotes that are written in the incorrect tense and simply do not flow, such as when he explains that while platinum is a value mineral in our society it lacked value in 1665.  The final chapters of the book, read more like a first draft outlining the plot than a finished product, however, it does not take away from the story and simply leaves the reader wanting more.

I enjoyed the novel.  If you want a fast-paced fun novel, I have to recommend this book.  Hardcore Crichton fan, will likely enjoy this book, but will have to accept it is an incomplete work.  If your into hardcore pirate period pieces, perhaps this may not be your book.

Food in Atlanta

December 17th, 2009 No comments

As a foodie, I have been planning on starting a restaurant  guide to New Orleans, but I can never find the time to do some.  However, I do have the time to make some quick comments on my recent culinary experiences in Atlanta.

Bluepointe:  is an Asian-fusion business-causal dinning restaurant that is locally owned restaurant group and overseen Chef Doug Turbush.
The Food: There were definitely highs and lows.  The restaurant boasts a combination of American and Asian flavor.  I would say it is American proteins served with  Asian flavor.  For me fusion requires innovation, but simply using Gulf Fish, adding some  foam, or adding a jalapeño to a traditional Asian flavor profile is not culinary fusion…. perhaps some would disagree. 
The highs:
The Tuna Tartar was the highlight of the entire meal.  The flavors of the Thai Chili were simply transcendent, in every bite new flavors were demonstrated, the taste permeated the tuna without overpowering the taste of the tuna, and very importantly there was a fair amount of tuna.  The only drawback to the dish was there was barely a teaspoon of lemon foam and about a dozen eggs of caviar; it does not serve as an affective garnish and would be better with it.  The Beef Short Ribs were braised very nicely and served in a nice miso reduction with just a small hint of jalapeño.  The wait staff should also be acknowledged for being knowledgeable and attentive.
The Lows: Citrus Steamed Sole on the restaurant’s first attempt I received a very nicely arranged plate with 2 large fillets, but one of the fillets was raw (I do not mean undercooked, simply raw).  I sent it back and received a second plate that had two small that were broken and piled on top of overcooked bok choi.  Zero points to the chef for presentation, style, or grace.  The first had an overwhelming (but not unpleasant) citrus taste.  The waiter did tell me before I ordered that they has a powerful taste, but the flavor fish were completely overpowered and was unsatisfying.  I was also disappointing with the Blueplate.  The Blueplate is a tasting appetizer containing: Gyoza, Lemongrass Shrimp, Peektoe Crab Springrolls, and Calamari.  The gyoza was simply fantastic, I only wish my gyoza were on par.  The other three dished were at best bland.  The Lemongrass Shrimp were all slightly overcooked and did not have a memorable flavor, however, they did pair very well with the Thai Chili from the Tuna Tartar.  The Springrolls were standard-fare, and the Calamari was simply bland and was the only item we did not want to finish.
Ambiance:  The resturant is very conveniently located near the mall on a busy intersection, however maintains a quiet and tranquil ambiance.  Bluepointe adeptly utilizes an open dinning room to create a comfortable dining experience.  I am not a fan of the tacky-cliche Christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling, they seems better fit in a TGI-Fridays than an upscale resturant.
Cost:  Appetizers averaged $8 and entrees $24 for average sized portions.
Overall: Like many business causal restaurant, if you play it safe and stick with what you already know is good, you will likely get a good meal for a fair price.  However, it is clear this is not a michelin rated restaurant and they need better quality control in the food they send out of the restaurant.  I have no plans on going back anytime soon.

Planet Bombay:  is an Indian Restaurant on Moorland near Freedom Park.  They claim to be an authentic Indian restaurant, but the food reflects Americanized Indian food.  In every city I go to, I sample the Indian cuisine and Atlanta has above average restaurants.
The Food: They offer a very wide array of curries and other Indian fares.  The food is always well prepared and the portions are average.  The restaurant has recently increased the amount of protein served in it’s dished, and now offers a satisfying amount.  It is not fine dinning, but it is delicious when your in the mood for Indian.  I have tried various vindaloos, masalas, curries, and biryanis and can say that they are all good, but far from great.  In general, the appetizers are fair at best and is the aspect of the menu in most need of re-thinking.
Ambiance:  Planet Bombay offers a nice atmosphere than most Indian places, however it’s open dinning room, hardwood floors and tables result in a very noisy experience.
Cost:  Appetizers averaged $8 and entrees $13 for average sized portions.
Overall: Slightly expensive, but overall a pleasant dinning experience.  Since I love Indian food, it is very likely I will be back.


June 9th, 2009 No comments

[singlepic id=378 w=200 h=200 mode=watermark float=right]I just returned from one of my best friend’s wedding in Yosemite.  The wedding was was simply unbelievable; her months of planning showed and made for an amazing experience.

After the wedding, I had a chance to hike some great trials and see the wonder that is Yosemite Park.  The park is breathtaking, there are waterfalls in every direction and wildlife (that is not afraid of man) everywhere.  I have posted some of the pictures I took while hiking.  Most of the pictures are from the Mist Trial or Glacier Point.  Friends that want to see wedding pictures, then you will have to check out the wedding gallery.

I hope that  one day I will have a chance to hike some more trials.