The Euro Symbol (€) on your computer   Leave a comment

I need this symbol since I use it a lot in correspondence.

Weirdly enough AltGr+4 produces the Euro Symbol (€) on my keyboard.

It seems that these are the ways to get the symbol:
AltGr+e – Works in most European countries
AltGr+u – Hungarian and Polish
AltGr+4 – UK and Ireland
AltGr+5 – US International, Greek Latin

Try it and see which one works for you.

Also, AltGr can produce some of the European accented characters (é,ú,í,ó,á).

I think this only works in Windows.

Posted 19/08/2014 by lacithedog in Euro, Euro Crisis, Euros, Microsoft Windows

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Belgian waffles   Leave a comment

BelgaufraThe real Belgian waffle, (gaufre au sucre, gauff‘ au suc, Liege Waffle, Gaufre Liègeoise, or Gaufre de Liège) is a serious treat and unlike what passes for a waffle elsewhere.  I had a “Belgian Waffle” at the Maryland Renaissance Faire, which like the Faire was a total disappointment.

First off, Liege Waffles use yeast, unlike regular waffles.  The liege waffle recipe dough making process is time consuming, due to the importance of the dough rising perfectly.  Also a proper Belgian waffle contains chunks of pearl sugar. This special type of sugar caramelizes on the outside of the waffle when baked. Pearl sugar caramelized on the waffle is what makes a delicious Belgian waffle what it is. The sugar also makes the waffles sweet enough to eat plain.

I’ve tried making them and it is a whole lot easier to just buy them.  I used to go to the Belgaufra shops when I lived in Belgium.  I’ve been to a few places in other Countries where they do a proper Belgian Waffle.

Of course, one can buy a Belgaufra franchise: there is one in Egypt.  There is still hope for getting real Belgian Waffles out in the world

See also:


Glassware for Beer   Leave a comment

I had a friend who did a Belgian Beer tasting for us when I lived in Belgium.  Not only did he bring a bunch of beers, but he also brought glasses forbeerglassesposter36x10 all the beers with the breweries’ logos on them.  Anyone who has spent time in Belgium will know there are loads of different glasses for drinking beers and each beer seems to have a specific glass to go with it, which makes beer drinking an interesting proposition.

If you want to do it at home…

I found a good article at the Beer Advocate in their Beer 101 section on beer glasses:

So which glassware do you use? The answer can often be overwhelming. In Europe, especially Belgium, each brand of beer will often have its own glass. In fact, some breweries have been known to engineer the glass before the beer, and many bars will also stock unique glassware for every brand of beer they serve, which could be hundreds or thousands. And while it’s always a good idea to use glassware designed by the brewery for a specific brand of beer, sometimes this is not an option. But fret not! We’ve complied a quick guide of recommended glassware that will cover most beers and arm you with a very versatile arsenal of glassware.

I say good since this covers most beers, not just Belgian Beers, but there are three ones that anyone interested in drinking Belgian Beer should have

The Wit (Bier Blanche) glasshoegaarden

I’ll be lazy and say the Hoegaarden is the classic white/wheat beer glass.

The Tulip

The workhorse of the bunch.  Libby’s 3808 16 oz. Belgian Beer glass is your best bet for these.  They also do double duty and work for Scotch Ale!

Chimay GlassThe Abbey Ale Chalice

Again, I’ll go with a big name: Chimay.

Actually, if you don’t want to spend a lot on glassware, Libby is the way to go since they do inexpensive versions of these glasses.  They won’t have logos, but they work.

If you want logos, and don’t live in a place convenient to Belgium, go to the Global Beer Network store. But with over 300 different types of beer, you would have one hell of a collection!


See also:

Posted 18/08/2014 by lacithedog in Ale, Beer, Beers, Belgian Food, Belgium

More iPoS moaning   Leave a comment

Once again, I am annoyed with the Apple iPod, or at least the after market versions with large drives that tend to act up when one looks at them wrong.  Never let the things run out of power, or they will show the infamous “white screen of death” (WSOD).

I managed to find this to get my players to come to life.

For some reason, the iPoS will not recharge if the WSOD is showing.

How to reset iPod, iPod (scroll wheel), iPod (touch wheel), and iPod (dock connector)

  1. Toggle the Hold switch on and off. (Slide it to Hold, then turn it off again.)
  2. Press and hold the Play/Pause and Menu buttons simultaneously until the Apple/iPod logo appears, about 6 to 8 seconds. You may need to repeat this step.

If the above steps did not work, try connecting iPod to a power adapter and plug the power adapter into an electrical outlet, or connect iPod to your computer. Make sure the computer is turned on and isn’t set to go to sleep.

If you are still unable to reset your iPod, use only one finger from one hand to press the Center (Select) button, and one finger from the other hand to press the Menu button.

When you reset iPod all your music and files are saved, but some customized settings may be lost. Date and time are preserved (unless the iPod reset itself because it had no power and then was reconnected to power). Other customized settings, such as Bookmarks, On-The-Go Playlists, Shuffle, Backlight timer, and so forth are preserved from the last time the hard drive turned on.

Press and hold the Play/Pause and Menu buttons simultaneously

Posted 14/08/2014 by lacithedog in ipod, MP3 player, MP3 Players

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Léon de Bruxelles (Chez Léon)

chez-leonsOne thing I really like is a good pot of Mussels and Chips (mosselen en frieten, moules-frites, mosselen-friet), which was one of the two things I really liked about Belgian food.  The beer is pretty good as well, but I really like moules-frites.  I got hooked at the original Léon de Bruxelles,  Chez Léon, at Rue De Bouchers/Beenhouwersstraat 18 in Brussels when I lived there.  I knew that the restaurant had spread to France since that was where we ended up eating most of the time.

I’ll be honest, the place is a bit like a Belgian McDonalds serving up moules-frites in a sit down setting with a quality and price that is pretty predictable.  I’ve had loads of better moules-frites in places like Belgo, but it was nice to see a familiar face in Paris: especially since the Parisians can be nearly as bad as New Yorkers for not making you feel very welcome.  Parisians are definitely food snobs with an inflated reputation and opinion of themselves (Lyon has a better culinary reputation).

Unlike McDonalds, Léon is a family business:

Léon Vanlancker set up his original business, a five-table restaurant called A la Ville d’Anvers in 1867. In 1893, he moved a few meters from there to 18 rue des Bouchers and opened fr:Chez Léon.  Real growth started from 1958 when Brussels became known as the capital of mussels and French fries. Since then, the Vanlancker business has continued to expand. Today, it extends to nine buildings and more than one thousand meals are served every day. The Vanlacker family opened the first Léon restaurant in Paris at Place de la République.  There are 67 Léon de Bruxelles restaurants across France.Hulot

Anyway, there were more Léon’s restaurants in Paris than there were in all of Belgium when I was there at the turn of the millennium.  Not that moules-frites aren’t French, but they are pretty much a Belgian dish.  The Irish who call mussels “famine food” somehow never put mussels and chips together for some odd reason. Although, I know that Denis Blais and Andre Plisnier will happily point out that Frites are Belgian (and gave me points on how to properly cook them).

Where this is going is that the Léon de Bruxelles headquarters appears to be in Lille, France!  Not only that, they opened a store in London in the Covent Garden area a couple of years back (that’s sort of close to Belgo Centraal).  I am also having a desire for some Léon’s moules-frites, even though I live close to a really good moules-frites restaurant! Actually, there is a recent Zagat article that mentions 8 places to get them near me and  I’ve been to most of them!

Seriously, there is this part of me that wishes that people in the US would discover moules-frites.  I know that “boardwalk fries” are something that people eat in the US, but I am not sure if there are many places to get moules-frites.  Then again, I haven’t been to the place I would like to see them, Dewey Beach, in a long while.  I’d also like to see a hotel like the one in M. Hulot’s Holiday, but I understand that one is now a five star hotel (Hotel De La Plage in Saint Nazaire, France) and you will pay a fortune for the room he stayed in.

Ain’t gonna happen.

Anyway, I no longer need to imagine I am on the Belgian coast.



Happy Birthday, Laci (the real dog).

To an amazing companion of over 11 years.  I think this song pretty much sums you up:

Happy Birthday.  May we have many more years of cool adventures together.

Scalia may have proven I am correct (well, sort of).

I made this statement in the post Words to remember:

Some people forget what happens when Catholics are allowed to have power.

Some people forget what happens when Catholics are allowed to have power.

Well, maybe Scalia WILL find that Catholics need to be burned at the stake since the founding fathers were strongly anti-Catholic.

I thought I had made another comment about him finding it OK to discriminate against Catholics in general, but that was the only quote that came up quickly.

Anyway, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. will prove to be yet another disaster for the Robert’s Court as it has opened up one of the worst cans of worms around since any governmental action must be religiously neutral.  But, this was a monumental fuck up upon monumental fuck ups from the Robert’s court.

Scalia has demonstrated he plays fast and loose with precedent in his Heller decision, but even Scalia is know to ignore Scalia (i.e., himself) to make a total buffoon of himself.

The real question is how far can a company go in claiming its religious beliefs don’t allow for something?  Hobby Lobby claims it doesn’t believe in abortion, yet it does loads of business with China, which has some seriously “anti-life” laws.

While some may say it is hypocritical to get down on Hobby Lobby for its 401k plan, which invests in the same products that Hobby Lobby denies its employees.  That is sheer bullshit.  If the 401k makes money from abortificants, then it seems that an employee should have access to the same products.  Also, Hobby Lobby can probably find a 401k which shares its beliefs, but may be as fucked up as the companies policies are for performance.

Even better:

“Hobby Lobby provided this coverage before they decided to drop it to file suit, which was politically motivated,” she said.

We can’t determine if politics motivated the company, but we did wonder whether Hobby Lobby covered the types of birth control at issue in its lawsuit but dropped the coverage before filing its complaint.

If Hobby Lobby feels strongly about the health care choices of its employees–it should also find a 401k that reflects its values.

Anyway, my family came to the US as refugees from Catholic discrimination–it only seems fair that we should be able to return the favour.  Especially if the Catholics bring their bullshit to this country.

I would add that anti-Catholic sentiment has been strong in the US: especially at the time of the Revolution and Constitution, which is why the links to this go to the Know Nothings or American Party as it was officially known.

Anyway, judicial sanction of discrimination should not be tolerated: especially if it is based upon religion since that is a violation of the First Amendment.

But, if the papists wish to continue the religious rubbish which many people came to this country to flee–I say “bring it”.


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