Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Lobster Remix

I suppose I should say something about the phrase "lobster remix" in this site's header. It is something to do with the colour red and something to do with a fascination with creatures which look like a typical fifties science-fiction bug-eyed monster. It's also something to do with the following links which I hope you will find tasty with a bit of butter sauce and a dash of pepper.

But first, a disclaimer. I know lobsters are not red until they are cooked. This is because all of the other pigments in their shells change chemically, but not the red. This makes red something special: more persistent, more durable. Maybe that's why I chose it for this site.

The first place I lived when my parents brought our family to Canada was Halifax. We could go down to the pier and buy lobster directly from the tanks. You can still do that some places, but not in the city.

An idea of how long ago that was can be determined from the fact that these were huge tasty creatures, and not the little scrawny things you see today. While there is a minimum size constraint in effect for lobster fishers (as you can read if you carefully follow these links), this is still too small for my liking. So I have refused lobster, not liking to eat the babies of any species. And for a creature that can live to well over one-hundred years, a little one pound monster is certainly still youthful.

Now this is a problem, because lobster is likely the tastiest food on the planet. I am of course not talking about the spiny lobster, which is nowhere near as nice. I'm referring to the typical rock lobster of song and legend, found along the north-eastern coast of USA and Canada.

To dispel another myth, with fresh good-sized lobster the addition of melted butter is completely redundant. The butter really only helps make small or stale lobster taste like it should in the first place.

I once ate seven lobster in a sitting, and only stopped because the all-you-can-eat fundraiser ran out. In fact, I had somewhat more than seven because squeamish eaters will leave the head and body. The fact that they ate only the claws and tail meant that I had a whole table of people passing me the other parts to finish off.

I say this not to impress with my gustatorial stamina, or my strength of will in my subsequent abstinance, but rather to make this one simple fact clear: I love lobster.

One of my favourite meals in my life was shared with friend Nadir Ansari in Bar Harbor, Maine, sometime in the mid-eighties while travelling to see two of our friends get married. We enjoyed the food so much that staff gathered to watch us eat. We were asked, more than once, if this was the first time we had had lobster, and I kept explaining that no, I had lived on the east coast and was no stranger to a claw cracker and meat pick.

The Chinese also know how to cook lobster, and I have had some fine variations in Toronto. Personally I like the ginger and onion variant, but the sticky BBQ one is good too. I'm not so keen on black bean with lobster. By all means though please avoid the horrid "Shrimp In Lobster Sauce" which is actually a sauce of ground pork and egg. I still have nightmares about that one!

Parenthetically (as if this article is not divergent enough) the Chinese character for lobster may come in handy when surveying menus for something worth eating. But generally it's better to just point at the tank and gesture wildly.

OK, now on to the links.

"Most developers do polysilicon micromachining," says Nicol McGruer. Well, I'm not at all sure if I've ever done any polysilicon micromachining, but I can imagine his attitudes stem from long hours spent developing a robotic lobster. [link dead]

Over at another robotics site there is an animation of lobsters actually moving. I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove, except that lobsters can avoid large inanimate objects on the sea bed. As if we didn't know that!

This furry chirping lobster was the first of its kind to be captured. Well, in fact it was the second, but someone ate the first. I wish I was joking.

Always check that the handgun is empty before giving it to a lobster. That's because, "eating lobsters and other sea animals is like playing Russian roulette" according to this hysterical (in both senses of the word) site.

A company with the unusual name of Stump Preacher have a lobster guitar. But I think maybe they have gone out of business, judging by their dead web site. Hmmm... imagine developing a product like that and then finding that there is no market for it. They must have been dumbfounded.

Here's some strange talk of "spousal units" in an everyday account of lobster fishing. This is one of those few times I will actually link to another blog. Because most blogs are so crap and whiney aren't they? (That last sentence is a great example of a blog being crap and whiny. [Yeah, but that last sentence there gets you off the hook for being so self-referential. {Not to mention referring to yourself in the third person. That's good for points too. /*Ok, you'd better unwind this stack before someone mistakes you for a Lisp programmer.*/}]) Done! Whew! That was close!

Illiterate lobsters have been a plague on society for years, so I'm glad that this fine organisation is empowering them with a Lobster Literacy Program.

Virgin Mobile have a cell phone called the LOBSTER 485 which I include only because the site colours are so... crustacean. [link dead]

Lobsters mate for life? Er, no, actually. Instead they might bite off all their lovers' legs, dominate each other for sexual favours, and sulk in the corner. Not so different from us, then.

One reason lobsters likely gave up on monogomy was that, with a lifespan extending past one hundred years, it would be all too boring. Did you know that the largest lobster ever was a Canadian beast at 20kg? But this USA lobster FAQ claims a USA lobster as the largest. Well, they would, wouldn't they? Someone should tell them that 37.4 pounds is less than 20.14kg.

Finally, in case you are not following every link here diligently, I should point out that there is a very strange reference in the B-52's song "Rock Lobster" which resonates for me. So here it is:

Here comes a stingray
There goes a manta-ray
In walked a jelly fish
There goes a dog-fish
Chased by a cat-fish
In flew a sea robin
Watch out for that piranha
There goes a narwhal
Here comes a bikini whale!

"Sea robin"? What the heck is that?


1 comment:

robin said...

Update: Two links have rotted and have hence been removed.

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