I like stuff.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Quote of the Evening, New Year's Eve Edition.

"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to kick you in the head."

Later reiterated as "So I've kicked you in the head, defaced your home, frightened your cat, and you're still hanging out with me. This is a good sign."

A dash of the ludicrous

Credit for the link goes to Smoke Rings, Coffee Stains

I don't know what to say about this, but I laughed heartily. Maybe I shouldn't have.

Christmas Recap

For what's it's worth, this was one of the best holidays on record in recent years.

Yes, we continued on the new family tradition of Christmas burgers. (Oh, sure, it doesn't sound fancy now, but when you consider the older tradition you would understand our glee.)

But, no, the reason why this was such an awesome year was what The Girl gave me. It's a time machine of sorts.

I call it the Time Bag. Sure, it might not look so impressive to you now, but check this out. You can put things in it, and when you take them out, it's the future!


(P.S. I'm kidding, of course, it's not really the future, it's just later. But I had to make the joke.)

(P.P.S. To The Girl: I'm not downplaying the thought and awesomeness of what you got me. But, you know, I had to make the joke.)

(P.P.P.S. The Girl actually built me my own TARDIS, amongst other gifts. Bet you didn't get a TARDIS.)

A Copyright Carol

Ok, so I'm not Canadian, and as best I can tell, many (not all) of you aren't either.

But as we are about to celebrate 10 years of lunacy that has been the DMCA in the US, Canada, well, they might be getting their own version, and all signs point to it not boding well.

So while I can still copy/paste such things, here's a parody of the concept I found linked off Boing Boing:

Consumerism: The Musical

I think this one stands on its own without extraneous commentary

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Quote of the evening:

"Well, there was the retarded grandmother..."


Poke around the Traveller Challenge

(for the record, I beat Ze Frank on the first try by a little over 2,000 points. Not bad for a guy that's never made it off-continent, yeah?


As I usually do whenever I get some time off work, it's usually about or day or so before I revert to my official "drooling creature of the night" status. This often means that I end up staying up until about dawn watching movies as nearly everyone else that I know is somewhat better at sleeping like a normal person would.

So, to give you an idea, here is the visual consumption log of the past week or so, in no particular order:

Good Eats (1 episode)
Doctor Who (5 episodes)
Torchwood (1 Episode)
Escape From New York
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
The Simpsons Movie
Kentucky Fried Movie
The Borne Ultimatum
AI: Artificial Intelligence
Jackass 2.5
The Prestige

Well, that's all I can remember anyhow. I'm about to flip a coin between watching the Mummy Trilogy, The Riddick Trilogy (well, 2.5 doesn't have an -ology as far as I know), or The Devil's Rejects. Well, as soon as I find my three-sided coin, anyhow.

I'm not counting what I've read this week, as I've not finished anything, but once again I put the Baroque Cycle on hold (damn you, Stephenson!) and have been reading this instead.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Minigolf Deathmatch

Friday, December 28, 2007


I'm not so politically astute to know what this all means, or to postulate much on where things might go, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it'll get worse before it gets better.

However, I think this tells the story better than the copy/paste off the AP feeds that so many news orgs are currently doing.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Stranger than fiction

Every once in a while, I stumble upon a bit stranger than usual

I'm not sure what it is about this one. The event? Sure, off-norm. But I think the real oddity lies somewhere between the matter-of-fact reporting and the ambiguity that suggests that OSHA already had the situation figured out.


I am the arm.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


For those of you that might not know, my apartment complex has a resident skunk which I've named "Bob." I've written about it before elsewhere, but I'm not so sure about here.

Anyhow, I was out on the driveway smoking a cigarette a few scant moments ago when I had my nearest run-in with Bob to date. I think we were three or four feet apart when Bob noticed me standing there.

So whether it be in the holiday spirit, or Bob's naturally short attention span, Bob chose to high-tail it out of there rather than resort to the brand of chemical warfare his ilk are so infamous for.

Thanks, Bob.


Monday, December 24, 2007

And to think I thought I'd have nothing to do...

So insert the appropriate holiday greeting here. I'm about to take off to go hang out with my grandmother and my brother, but I was surprised to meet this upon my doorstep on my first attempt at egress.

Looks like I'll have something to futz around with later after all.

Stay safe. Drive angry.


Christmas Kazoo Carol Deathmatch 2007 - Post-mortem.

Ok, aside from most of the people that said "I'll try to make it" (many of which didn't), big fun was had by all. Witness the spectacle:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Catching up...

Thursday, picked up the girl, went and had dinner at La Chiquita (also known as Joe's. Darn good hole-in-the-wall Mexican food, and just around the corner from her apartment.) She'd never been, and even having passed by it a number of times, it never registered. Other than a few issues of me having completely forgotten the protocols (it's been at least 5 years since I've been there, possibly closer to 10), the food still stood up (R.I.P., Joe) and good times were had. Did a drive-by of a party supply store to stock up on some more kazoos. Ended up also buying myself the Ben Franklin Instant Disguise Kit because I'm an idiot for that sort of thing. Chided the girl for encouraging me (or at least not stopping me) Went back to her apartment, helped her make a batch of christmas cookies (Cognac Sugarplums with Bourbon in place of the Cognac)

Friday, the slowest workday of the year. Figured I was already going to take some vacation days in early January anyhow, so I flipped a couple hours onto other days, and got out around 2:30. Drove home, changed clothes in anticipation of the evening's events, went to go pick up the girl for the Kazoo Deathmatch. Went to dinner (I forgot the name. I'm sure she'll give me crap later. I think it was the hollenshead, but my addled brain isn't certain right now.) I guess it's a deli. There's a slight convenience store vibe (maybe it was all the fluorescent lights), but either way, there were two quick observations. At a little after 5pm on a friday, they were packed, and the whole vibe was very friendly. After prompting from the proprietor, we ended up sharing a table with a gent in the fastener industry while we consumed our sandwiches and respective pints (I went with the Harvest Ale, she chose the Smoked Porter) A brief stop later and her work stuff was deposited at her apartment, clothes were changed, and off to the Block for the main event. Stay tuned for a more full accounting of the Kazoo Deathmatch, possibly with video.

Saturday, she treated me to lunch at a nice family-owned Lebanese cafe. Tasty Shawarma plate. After some idle puttering about dealing with sundry errands, I made her dinner (broke out my old family meatball recipe, some generic jarred sauce, and rotini pasta) (ok, sure, nothing fancy, but I did insist on making the meatballs, which she really seemed to like.) Watched some Doctor Who. (I know, I know, there's a trend here, but when I asked her if she minded the repetition, her response (which I won't post here due to your sensitivities, dear readers) gave me cause to believe that as trends go, it's not a bad one.

Keep an eye out for an end-of-year-spectacular post in the next few days. With as strange and wonderful a year this has been, it would be a disservice to not try to recognize it somehow.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

I think I'll consider this a badge of pride.

UPDATE: The survey thing done broke and now redirects to a dating site, so I edited to redirect the link to google instead (which is probably at least as accurate). Oh, and I cheated and inflated my number a bit.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bacon Cookies

So a couple days ago, I skimmed over an article regarding German Bacon Cookies

Didn't think much of it, sort of moved on.

Today, I saw a slight debate through my twitter feed regarding bacon cookies, so rather than weighing in, I figured I'd go back, read the recipe I saw, and think about it a little.

The recipe linked above, as it stands, probably would feed into the preconception of a bacon cookie. Note the lack of any sugar, or other sweetener (e.g., honey). A cookie? I'm not so sure, but I've not a solid definition of "cookie", but only my preconceived notion of what a cookie is. That recipe, it ain't.

But, that's not to say that I'd rule out the idea. Many people forget that salt works so well in seasoning because in the right concentration will accentuate the food, not necessarily make it taste "salty". In the same light, there are many recipes centered on chocolate applications that will involve something with a little heat (such as chili peppers) that can accentuate the flavor.

So getting away from the "um, it's bacon. shouldn't that go with eggs or something?", think about what it might bring (and avoid the bacon-bits idea. Might not need to do the "fry it up" first angle)

The first things that come to my mind is a subtle smoky flavor and fat. Fat, as much as it has been reviled, isn't bad. Fat tends to add a feeling of "moistness" to foods. Depending on the cookie, this can be a desired trait. Sort of that "soft-baked" phenomenon. Moist. Tender. Whatever.

And it might just be that the smoky nuances and the salt that it carries with it can be used to your advantage in the flavor department. I think it would pair very nicely with chocolate.

Granted, I've not tried any of this, and I don't think it makes sense to toss in a couple strips of bacon in your next batch as is. I think some adjustment to any given recipe would be needed (remove/reduce any salt or oil called for as necessary), but I wouldn't write off the concept either.


Christmas Kazoo Carol Deathmatch.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

And so ends that weekend...

Final Score:
Kitchens Cleaned - 1
Meals cooked - 2
Meteor Showers - 1
Movies Viewed - 1
Minor, and quickly contained Apartment Fires - 1
Miles - ~300
Moments of severe giddiness - Lost count.

A good weekend, I'd say.

So aside from the Dinner/Coffee/Meteor Shower thing I already mentioned, here's the rest of the story:
Saturday morning, I woke up around 10:30 (yes, unheard of from me on the weekends, I know) and went tooling around the county searching for components for a yet-to-be-announced mission. Failure on all fronts. (I blame Ebay. Imagine a long and meaningful rant here. Redacted for now.) Called the girl around noon to see what she was up to, and she asked if I could call her back a bit later as she was currently helping her mother wrangle some sort of festive shrubbery or something. As my then-location was about a mile away I inquired if I could offer assistance, to which I had to submit to a phone interview regarding my festive-shrubbery-wrangling experience (I think I only squeaked by). So after a brief period of festive-shrubbery-wrangling, had lunch with her and her mother (I was on my good behavior. Most off-color jokes were suppressed, and her mother admonished me not to encourage the girl when it came to culinary oddities (such as Coco-Puff-encrusted Pot Roast, a theoretical dish that was posited during the mealtime conversation)

Not to be shown up on the family-awkwardness front, upon escape from lunch and the girl's mother, the girl and I hopped in the car, and we drove out and hung out with my grandmother for a bit. This plan backfired somewhat, as my grandmother told lots of borderline-embarrassing stories about (or at least tangentially involving) me, and the girl started cackling when my grandmother punched me in the stomach. (yup, it's THAT kind of family.)

Back in the car. Escape! Went by the grocery store, picked up some supplies. Explained to the girl the evening's plans (including the Excitement-that-is that is Movie Night (this week's showing was "Being John Malkovich") and me cooking her dinner (The menu was grilled scallops, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and risotto)) Things went reasonably smoothly. She got to talk to a few of the sportsracers. The fan in my range fume hood caught fire while I was cooking, but I was able to quickly extinguish it without much trouble. After a year and a half of not cooking anything of significance, it was pretty obvious that my already stunted sense of time-management in food prep had atrophied, so the scallops and asparagus went a bit long waiting for the risotto, but she seemed impressed with the result all the same. Watched some Doctor Who. Got her home with some margin left before dawn. I even managed to crash well before it started getting light out.

Sunday: Slept in a bit. Woke up early afternoon. Voicemail from the girl. On my way to get coffee and call her back, she called again, so I picked her up, went tooling around a bit (looking for supplies for a project she's working on), swung by Trader Joe's (yes, we ran into the same shopgirl of "It tastes like suffering" fame, who resolutely stated she was allergic to persimmons this time before recognizing us as the other side of that conversation) and picked up some fixin's (menu: Grilled Sausages. I think they had asiago and some sort of mushroom mixed in with chicken and secret spices. Tasty, anyhow. She made some portabello mushrooms, I tried my hand at blind preparation: Butternut squash. Having never made it, never really thought about it too much, it became a test of whether or not I could figure out what to do with an otherwise unknown ingredient. Took a few cues from the girl, and ended up pan-cooking it with a tangerine reduction. Could still use a few tweaks for future attempts, but I've got some leftover that should fit in nicely for lunch with a bit of the leftover risotto) Helped the girl with one of her projects a bit more. Watched some more Doctor Who. Got her home early enough such that we can both resemble productive humans at our respective jobs tomorrow.

It was a good weekend.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Geminids: We're on the road to nowhere.

(Click for larger)

So I thought up an idea to take the girl out to go see the Geminid meteor shower, and there were some slight issues about finding a good viewing location (as you can see from the handy graphic)

I also learned that I should only use my powers of making obnoxious loud noises for good (sorry, lady!)

The best meteor we saw was easily the one that almost made it to the ground while driving out to the final location...it was burning green.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Snippet of conversation while watching this

there should be a project archiving every stupid thing this administration has done/said.
Right now the silver lining for me is believing we're on the cusp of having the first presidential library that specializes in pop-up books.

and thinkers!
they can think about...stuff.

this is going in the blog. should I omit reference to you?


ok. sucks that I even think to ask.

I'm open to infamy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Info Message.

On my winders box, I'm currently installing some library/framework/enabling technology/whatever bullshit.

The installer turned out to be a stub for downloading the actual software. This usually irritates the hell out of me, because there are plenty of times where I run into this sort of thing on machines that don't have any sort of internet access.

But I think the part that's really giving me the warm & squishy feeling right now is that the dialog box just informed me "Download complete. You can now disconnect from the Internet."

So I'll be right back, I just have to power down a few pieces of gear to fully appreciate the freedom to disconnect that was just grante

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Blog Council.

I do try my best not to get too encumbered by the ideas that Blogs are going to change the world, and I try to let concepts like New Media whiz by unnoticed (although I have always liked the premise of 'Don't like the media? Become the media!')

That said, I think Ars Technica got it right on in assessing the freshly-formed "Blog Council"

head. clouds. insert.

So the girl I've been seeing and I had a nice interchange with the checker at Trader Joe's this evening while procuring snacks in preparation of the evening's Doctor Who marathon.

Amongst the purchases were a Trader-Joe's-standard-we-prefer-not-to-sell-individual-fruit-multipack of persimmons.

Granted, I've never had a persimmon before, but the old rule about me being willing to try any food (lax definition I might have) so that I can say with conviction if I don't like it, this seemed like a pretty tame option.

(and yes, this came after a lovely exchange badmouthing chestnuts with the "team member" busy stocking the deli case)

(slightly paraphrased. I think this is close to the actual script)
Checker: Persimmons? Have you ever had these before?
Girl: Yes, and they are wonderful.
Checker: Really? What are they supposed to be like?
Girl: Sort of a light sweetness, like a hint of honey.
Checker: Huh. When I tried one, my entire mouth swelled up.
Girl and I in near unison: Uh, I think that'd be an allergy.
Checker: Well, I thought it might be....but I wasn't sure...
Me: It tastes like burning!
Checker: No, more like "It tastes like suffering!"
Girl and I: *cackling*

All in all, just another fine moment in an overall spectacular day.


(and yes, I'm a bad man. I think I got the girl hooked on Doctor Who. I'm ok with that.)

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I don't get many of these, but this is easily the worst I've seen yet.

Compliments and Greetings,

Upon assumption of office by this new democratic government, series of special meetings were held home and abroad with some leaders of the World Monetary Institution. The purpose of the committee among other is to scrutinize, verify and settle all outstanding total pending Payment with maximum security. And records before me has revealed that your full entitlement valid among other approvals has not been effected as a result of official negligence, this is due to many abnormalities had happened in the institutions where some top official of the apex banks are interested in your payment and they collaborate with impostors who are operating in syndicates all over the world today misled and misguided about the position of your fund and having the opportunity to extort money from you and leave the beneficiary half way.

Please understand the nature of this very transaction it is by two ways for you to receive this fund. For example, if you requested your cashier check to be converted a legitimate liquid cash and transfer into your bank account, its obliged under this condition that you will pay $150.00 for the immediate take off and simultaneous clear up discrepancy and transfer direct to your bank account as you will nominate .it is also the same amount that you will pay if you want us to dispatch your cashier check and it clear upon receipt. No other fees or delays of any kind may be initiated as long as you send the fee. ?Which of the way do you choose please let us know because the officials involved are waiting to hear your considerations of these two options involved in this very transaction. You will have to reconfirm your contact detail to this email <redacted/> or <redacted/> to enable us carry out the action immediately as we are closing down all transactions with all our
foreign clients for the end of the fiscal year.

Finally, note that we can not deduct this amount from your ??approve funds One million two hundred thousand Dollars from this payment exercise because of the insurance policy .as Per security, please note that under no circumstance shall we ship your cheque via regular mail/ postage service and also would be deliver to a P.O. Box address or by wire transfer to your nominated bank account. Immediately we confirm your order we shall direct you on how to send the money to enable us finalise
This transaction.

Sincerely Yours'
Chief John Temple.
Premier Commercial Bank Benin, special duties officer.

I am amused by this.

Courtesy of Ze Frank and his blog

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Playing with the camera.

Futzing with the exposure time, I think this is the first time I got a distinct double image with a digital camera.

DIY or Die

I've been watching this, and I think others should as well.

you can find the rest of in on ye olde gootube.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Well, I went and saw my first play last night (well, first not counting a high school rendition of "Welcome to the Monkey House"), and I must say it was well and truly awesome.

It was an adaptation of the 1964 film Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (yes, MST3k covered it), and it did a faithful performance...but with more intentional jokes (such as the polar bear wandering up to the bar and getting a soda)

It's at the Maverick Theater in Fullerton for much of December, so if you have the means, I highly recommend checking it out.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Viral Marketing Hypnosis

Ok, I know it's a shameless viral marketing ploy, but I also know that one or two of you enjoy Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, so such is: